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What are the signs and symptoms of whiplash?

For those in Massachusetts who have never been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is likely that they have seen clips or images of a crash test. In those tests, dummies are used to determine the safety of a vehicle, helping researchers assess the injuries and damages caused in a given accident. Although a rear-end collision is common, especially during rush hour traffic, and frequently occur at low speeds, a rear-end accident causes the body of a driver or passenger to be thrown forward than backward.

The sudden jerks and movements of a car accident can be very painful on an accident victim's body. Depending on the speed of the collision and the angle of the crash, a victim could suffer injuries to all areas of their body. One major area of concern is the head. While any head trauma is serious, the jerking movements of the accident could be extremely strenuous on the neck. Thus, causing the victim to suffer from whiplash.

What are the signs and symptoms of whiplash? While this injury might not sound severe, whiplash could actually cause a victim to endure much pain and suffering. While most accident victims exhibit some form of pain following the initial accident, it is not uncommon for the pain of this injury to be delayed for 24 hours or more. Therefore, if neck pain is not immediately felt following a crash, it is still possible to exhibit signs of this injury a few days after the accident.

Common symptoms for whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, shoulder pain, lower back pain and pain or numbness in the arms or hand. A victim could also experience symptoms such as dizziness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, difficulty sleeping and fatigue.

While there is no single way to treat whiplash, it has been sufficiently proven that the accident victim should try to remain immobile for as much as possible in the days following the injury. This might mean wearing a cervical collar. Additionally, pain medication, gentle exercises, physical therapy, massages, heating pads, ice packs and injections have been determined suitable treatment methods.

While whiplash might not seem to be a major injury, it can be painful to deal with and could take some time for the victim to recover from. Therefore, it is essential for victims to consider their recourses following a car accident. If another driver is responsible for the crash, he or she could hold that driver responsible for the injuries and damages suffered in the accident, including whiplash.

Source: WebMD.com, "Whiplash," accessed June 27, 2016

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