Many car accidents that occur in Denver and across Colorado may seem minor at the time. Perhaps one car was stopped at a red light and another vehicle coming up from behind didn’t stop in time. While this scenario may sound minor on the surface, a whiplash injury caused by a collision of this nature can have long-term impacts.
Whiplash is in fact a non-medical term used to describe a sudden jerking motion of the head. They’re most often associated with car accidents but can occur in just about any situation where the head and neck undergo a sudden, violent motion.
Also known as neck sprain or neck strain, victims of whiplash may not experience symptoms for several days following the precipitating event. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Pain in the shoulder between the shoulder blades
- Lower back pain
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Pain or numbness in the arms and hands
- Ringing ears
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty with sleep
- Concentration and memory issues
If the car accident is more severe in nature, the violent whipping motion can also lead to mild or even severe brain injury. The brain simply hitting the inside of your skull during a collision can lead to an injury of this nature.
If a whiplash injury is caused by a car accident, it’s officially referred to as a cervical acceleration-deceleration injury. Studies using cadavers as passengers have shown that forces from the seat back (…caused by a rear-end collision) compress the kyphosis in the thoracic spine, which causes the cervical spine to deform into an S-shape. Eventually, the whole cervical spine can become hyper-extended.
Unfortunately, there are no specific treatments for whiplash injuries. Also, the damage to disks, muscles and ligaments often can’t be seen by a standard x-ray. CT scans and a MRI are often required to obtain a proper diagnosis.
Dealing with the effects of whiplash often involves a combination of pain medications, physical therapy and massage. In the past, patients were given a cervical collar that prevented them from moving their neck. Recently though, doctors have been suggesting patients start moving neck muscles as soon as possible.
Since a whiplash injury can lead to long-term complications, you deserve to be compensated for your hardship.
In many cases, it can take years to fully deal with the effects of a whiplash injury. This of course requires a lot of expensive therapy and time away from work.
If you or a loved has been in a car accident and start experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s absolutely vital you seek medical attention immediately.
And if you’ve determined fault or would like assistance, contact Denver car accident attorney R. Mack Babcock today for a free consultation.