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How to Spot the Signs of Whiplash After a Car Accident

Whiplash, a term used to describe a neck strain, is one of the most common auto accident injuries. When a serious collision causes the head to suddenly jerk forward or backward, the neck tendons and muscles may be stretched and torn. If you or a loved one has developed neck pain and stiffness after a car accident, you should learn more about the symptoms of and treatment for whiplash.

Symptoms of Whiplash

A man having his shoulder massaged

If you have whiplash, you will likely experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Pain at the base of the skull, often extending into the forehead
  • Tenderness, pain, tightness, or a knotted feeling in the neck muscles
  • Stiffness or pain when looking over the shoulder or when moving the head back-and-forth or side-to-side
  • Limited range of motion in the neck
  • These symptoms often arise right after the accident, but they may be delayed for hours or even days. Sometimes, whiplash occurs along with a concussion. This mild form of traumatic brain injury typically causes a loss of consciousness, fatigue, nausea, language issues, weakness, and persistent headaches. You should seek immediate medical care if you have these symptoms.

    Diagnosis, Treatment, and Therapy

    If your doctor suspects that you may have a whiplash injury, they will conduct a thorough physical examination. Imaging tests may rule out conditions with similar symptoms or confirm a neck strain diagnosis. In many cases, resting at home can relieve the symptoms of whiplash and allow the injured tendons and muscles to heal. In more serious cases, your doctor may recommend:

  • Therapeutic massage
  • Application of ice or moist heat
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Prescription pain medication or muscle relaxers
  • Physical therapy to help strengthen the neck muscles and avoid further injury
  • When you suffer from whiplash or another serious injury after a car accident, you can sue the responsible parties for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. At Leav & Steinberg LLP, we’ve been serving clients in New York City and the rest of the Tri-state area for years. We have obtained sizable settlements on behalf of injured clients in a wide variety of cases. To request a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, contact us online or call 212-766-5222.