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The problems caused by whiplash

When people in North Carolina and across the U.S. are involved in car accidents, one common concern is that they will have whiplash from the impact. This term does not indicate one specific condition; it is actually a generic term referring to general neck injuries that occur when the head is rapidly or violently wrenched in one direction and then another one. It is commonly seen in auto accidents, but it is also seen after work injures, sports accidents and falls.

Whiplash involves injuries to the ligaments that support and protect the neck, joints in the spine, muscles and connecting tendons. As the neck violently moves into extended positions, it stretches the ligaments and muscles and can lead to serious problems, including disc herniation. Symptoms include pain in the neck and stiffness in the general area. Turning or moving the head can increase the pain levels. Other potential problems include dizziness, trouble swallowing, blurred vision and nausea.

One of the challenges with whiplash is that the pain is not always immediate. It is quite common for the neck pain to become noticeable anywhere from two to 48 hours after the accident. Treatments for the condition may include staying active and physical therapy. Some doctors may also prescribe stretching programs, and people sometimes find relief through chiropractic services.

When someone is involved in an accident, it is important that they get checked out by a physician as soon as possible rather than assuming that they are fine. In the case of whiplash or other serious injuries, an attorney may be able to provide assistance with the catastrophic accident claims in order to cover the potentially high costs of rehabilitation, lost wages and any pain and suffering. When a victim allows an attorney to handle the legal aspects of a case, they can have more time to focus on their own healing and rehabilitation.

Source: American Chiropractic Association, "Whiplash," Accessed Jan. 21, 2015

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