When it comes to driving, there are many risks. For instance, you might end up breaking one of the many traffic and road laws that you need to abide by. But there is also the daily hazard that comes from dangerous driving and other road users. Even if you are a very careful driver, you could still end up caught up in a road-traffic accident.
Thankfully, serious injuries are relatively low, and most people can walk away from most small incidents. However, even if you just end up slightly bumping into another vehicle, there is one common injury that you might have to worry about: whiplash. This guide should explain what exactly whiplash is, and what you should do about it.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the soft tissues of the neck stretch and damage. It’s the jerking motion caused by the car coming to a stop suddenly that causes these kinds of injuries. That’s because any sudden movement to the side or back and forth that occurs can put a considerable amount of stress on the neck and its muscles. Most of the time, whiplash will get better on its own after a few days. However, in some cases, you might be entitled to claim compensation for time off work. Click here to learn more about a car accident lawyer who can help you with that. It could also be worth seeking medical advice if your whiplash doesn’t resolve itself and limits your movements and activities.
Symptoms Of Whiplash
You might not display all of the symptoms of whiplash, but most patients suffer from a few of the following.
- Neck pain and aches
- Neck stiffness
- A difficulty moving the neck
- Pain in the arms and shoulders
- Muscle spasms
Treatments for Whiplash
Thankfully, even if your whiplash does stick around for longer than expected, it is very easy to treat. More often than not, you just need to take some painkillers until the symptoms subside. It’s also a good idea to try and keep your neck as mobile as possible. Previously, it was often thought that a neck brace was the best solution for this health condition, but that is no longer what health professionals believe. Some people also find that icing the neck for a couple of days helps to relieve all the aches and pains. If the pain continues after a couple of days, you should move onto using a moist heat. For instance, holding a damp, warm towel against your neck. In some extreme cases, physiotherapy that includes massages and specific exercises, might be necessary to help the neck heal properly. Some experts even claim that ultrasound treatments can really help people who are suffering from whiplash.
If you do end up in a car accident, even just a small one, there is a good chance you will suffer from some form of whiplash. Hopefully, it will only bother you for a day or two. But if it does persist, you should see your doctor.