Imagine this: You're sitting at a red light when you see a vehicle quickly approaching from behind. Before you have the chance to brace yourself, the person slams into your vehicle, thus causing your neck to snap forward and backward.
A rear-end car accident can cause many types of injuries, with whiplash among the most common. This is a serious injury that can cause immediate pain and discomfort, as well as long-term health concerns.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
There are many symptoms of whiplash, with these among the most common:
- Pain and tightness in the neck
- Decreased range of motion
- Stiffness when moving your head
- Tenderness to the touch
- Headache, typically originating in the base of the skull
In some cases, the pain and discomfort associated with whiplash is immediate. However, this doesn't always happen. It could take several hours or even days before you feel any pain.
Treatment for whiplash
There is no way of knowing what type of treatment is best until you receive a medical diagnosis. Only then will you know the extent of your injury, which will dictate the type of treatment you receive.
Some of the most common treatment options for whiplash include:
- Ice: It's best to do this for 15 minutes at a time, several times per day.
- Neck brace or collar: In the days following your accident, a brace or collar can immobilize your neck, thus giving it time to heal.
- Painkillers: If you're experiencing any pain or discomfort in the days following your accident, a painkiller can help you get through this difficult period.
- Massage: After your injury heals, discuss the benefits of massage therapy with your doctor.
There is no way of knowing how long it will take for your whiplash to heal. Some people begin to feel better within a few days or weeks, while others deal with pain for the rest of their life.
If you're injured in a car accident, don't wait to call 911 and to seek treatment at a local hospital. Doing so gives you the best chance of minimizing the impact of the crash.
As you recover, contact your insurance company to file a claim and learn more about your legal rights. Visit our website for more information on car accidents and the steps to take in the aftermath.