The effects of whiplash are more serious than you think. Even after the injury has supposedly been treated and your body functions seemed to have stabilized, the effects of whiplash injury can still haunt you a long, long time after the accident.
Whiplash and Its Effects
Whiplash is an injury sustained after your head is jolted in one direction then snaps back in the other direction, such as, in a car collision situation. Whiplash may also result from falls, work-related injuries and sports injuries. The powerful and sudden movements of your neck can result in not just a sore neck but extensive injuries and damage such as strain and sprain to the ligaments, tendons, joints and muscles in the neck and surrounding area.
A wide range of other symptoms from whiplash may include any of the following:
- Neck pain
- Lower back or upper back pain
- Restricted mobility of the neck
- Headaches / dizziness
- Numbness / weakness of the arm
- Weakness in the legs
- Sleep disorder
- Travel anxiety
For whiplash resulting from a slight bumper-to-bumper vehicle collision, the condition may last only a few days. The common symptoms are neck pain and upper back pain accompanied by headaches. Whiplash after a more serious vehicular accident, on the other hand, can bring about more severe pain and difficult neck and head movement. All the symptoms may only appear after one or two days upon the occurrence of the accident while the initial signs of an injury is felt 12 hours after that accident.
Mild cases of whiplash are usually treated with over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. The symptoms usually subside after a few weeks of medication.
Whiplash that lasts longer than six months are usually called chronic whiplash. They are normally treated using prescription painkillers and physical therapy (physiotherapy). Serious injuries of this type can last for months and in some cases the symptoms may not totally disappear. Pain and stiffness in the neck may persist together with lower or upper back pain, headaches and sleep disorder.
Here are other startling facts from published materials on the extent of the effects of moderate to long-term whiplash:
- Of the people included in the study, 71 percent still had some symptoms after more than seven years after their encounter with the whiplash injury. It also took two years for the whiplash condition to stabilize.
- Patients with moderate whiplash conditions reached functional recovery after 18 months to 2 years. Some even reported recovery as long as five years later.
Whiplash may sound trivial to some but in reality, the injury can bring far-reaching implications due to the long treatment process, the duration of its effects and the physical and mental anguish the injury brings to the patient.