Whiplash is sometimes viewed as a minor injury in the aftermath of a fender-bender, or even a more substantial car accident. However, this injury is often more serious than first realized. If you have experienced any symptoms related to whiplash, it is important to get a medical check as soon as possible. The long-term effects of untreated whiplash can leave you with chronic, serious health issues for many years.
As an example, suppose you are involved in a car crash, but you do not see or experience any visible injuries. The next day you feel a certain twinge in your neck, but you brush it off as just some soreness from the incident. You decide not to seek a medical evaluation. In the following days, the neck pain becomes more debilitating until your condition is much worse than the initial neck twinge you felt the day after the accident. This scenario has occurred many times over with car accident victims.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues in the neck, resulting from a quick succession of back-and-forth neck movements. The movement is often likened to the crack of a whip, which is where it gets its name. These accidents often occur in rear-end car crashes. However, they may also occur in other incidents involving head or neck trauma – for instance, from playing contact sports, or from physical abuse.
Preventing whiplash from becoming chronic
Immediately after a car crash or other type of physical injury, the shock and adrenaline resulting from the event can conceal the pain. However, as whiplash symptoms begin to appear in the following days and weeks after an accident, they must not be ignored. Certain musculoskeletal injuries such as whiplash often do not exhibit symptoms until weeks after a car accident. In order to prevent a whiplash condition from becoming chronic, it is important to immediately consult with a chiropractor or physical therapist to diagnose potential injuries and prevent further physical complications in the future.
Consequences of untreated whiplash
Whiplash that goes untreated can result in long-term chronic pain and serious health conditions. The overextended or torn tendons and muscles in the neck can prevent normal range of motion and impose added stress on the head, neck, spine, and shoulders. A whiplash injury can also negatively affect the brainstem.
Additional conditions and injuries that can result from untreated whiplash include:
- Prolonged neck soreness and pain
- Misalignment of vertebrae
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Degenerative disc disease
- Long-term mobility problems
The symptoms listed above can blossom into more serious health conditions if not treated properly and in a timely manner.
The experienced Chattanooga car crash attorneys at Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law understand the serious health issues and financial strain that can result from a whiplash injury. If you have sustained one of these injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. Give our legal office a call today at 423.756.7923, or fill out our contact form to arrange a free case evaluation. We also serve clients in Cleveland, TN, North Georgia, and neighboring areas.