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Can Minor Whiplash Lead to a More Serious Injury?

Published on Jul 17, 2018 at 1:58 pm in Car Accidents.

Injuries sustained during an accident vary in type and severity. One of the more common injuries, with a reported 3 million cases per year, is whiplash. This injury, while seemingly minor and inconvenient, can have serious, lasting effects if not properly treated.

It’s important to recognize the causes, signs, and symptoms of whiplash so you can manage your condition with a healthcare professional and return to normal as quickly as possible. Read on to learn about how minor whiplash can lead to a more serious injury.

Defining Whiplash

Whiplash is a type of soft tissue injury. It’s common in rear-end collision accidents when the force of the impact causes the head to violently stretch forward and backward. While whiplash is most commonly associated with car accidents, violent motions causing whiplash can occur during slips and falls, assaults, or sporting activities.

The speed and impact of the accident do not decrease or increase the chance of soft tissue damage. The position of the neck has the most impact on the severity of the injury.

Common whiplash symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, decreased range of motion in the neck, blurred vision, back pain, and trouble concentrating or sleeping.

Even if you’re not experiencing pain after an accident, it’s imperative to seek medical attention. The symptoms of whiplash often take days to appear. The longer you wait, the longer your injury might last.

Long-Term Whiplash Effects

While the symptoms of whiplash may not sound severe, the long-term effects can last for years or longer if the injury is not treated properly. Whiplash that lasts for more than six months is considered chronic. The initial pain associated with the injury will become present at most times and can be difficult to manage.

In some cases, whiplash can mask an underlying and serious issue like a spinal fracture. If this is the case, conditions like osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis can develop as time passes. Recovery from severe whiplash can take years, and some pain symptoms may never go away.

It can be difficult to make a successful claim for a whiplash injury because it’s not a visible injury and it can be hard to diagnosis. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance at receiving the compensation you deserve for your injury and suffering. Our legal team at Welsh & Welsh is prepared to represent you with your personal injury claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.