Arkansas natives may be surprised to hear that whiplash can occur in not only high-speed vehicle collisions but also in collisions that occur at lower speeds. Injuries of this nature typically result in a sprain of the neck in which the supporting ligaments may be torn. The spine can also be affected in a whiplash injury and might cause a disc herniation. Nerve roots can become inflamed, and in rare cases, vertebrae could be fractured or dislocated.
An individual may have whiplash when their neck experiences a whip-like movement back and forth. Symptoms typically show up in any areas that have been suddenly jolted by the force of impact, but it may take days for symptoms to appear. Whiplash can occur from any type of injury but most often in car accidents, especially in rear-end accidents. The individual may experience discomfort or pain whenever attempting to turn their head. More than two thirds of individuals experience headaches in either one or both sides of their head. Stiffness in the chest area, shoulders, arms and upper back is also common. Blurred vision and vertigo may be a side effect but should dissipate in a short amount of time.
In some cases, the symptoms of whiplash may linger for longer periods of time, even years. Because injuries of this nature are not always easy to immediately identify, not seeking medical treatment may prolong recovery time or even cause the problem to become more severe in nature.
When a personal injury attorney is consulted to assist in cases that involve car accidents, they may recommend that an injured victim set up an appointment with a specialist to determine if whiplash is present. If treatment is necessary, the attorney may focus on helping the victim secure financial payments to be able to attend chiropractic care.
Source: American Chiropractic Association , "Whiplash", accessed on Jan. 10, 2015