What Is A Whiplash Injury?

man holding neck

Being specialists in Personal Injury claims, the most common injuries we are asked to represent for our clients is Whiplash injuries. But what exactly is a Whiplash injury, and how do they occur?

A Whiplash injury can occur when a person’s head and neck suffer a sudden movement backwards, forwards or from side to side. The cause of a Whiplash injury is often linked to a Road Traffic Accident due to the mechanisms of the impact and the transfer of energy from the “bullet” vehicle. That being said, there can be other reasons as to why a Whiplash injury is sustained such as a bang to the head, a trip or slip with a sudden neck and head movement or a sporting accident.

The effects of an injury can sometimes be felt immediately after an accident, although more often than not the effects of an injury can gradually manifest over the course of the first 48 hours following the trigger cause. The patient will usually suffer from neck pain that can sometimes cause residual pain to the shoulders and back. Headaches can also be experienced and likewise, the patient may suffer from pins and needles to the upper limbs, hands and fingers. In some cases, muscle spasms and dizziness are also experienced.

Whiplash injuries can vary in severity depending on a number of factors such as the severity of the impact, the age or/ gender of the patient, the seating position, whether a seat belt was being worn and a variety of other reasons. The symptoms experienced may become more severe after a period of relaxation or when the patient is attempting to sleep. Whiplash injuries will often improve and subside in a few weeks or months, but for some people, it can last longer and severely impact upon their daily lives.

Trying to stay mobile is recommended and painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may help to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Treatments such as physiotherapy or acupuncture may be required to assist in the recovery of Whiplash victims. We would recommend that you speak to your GP if you are in any doubt over your symptoms or wish to discuss your treatment options. It may be possible to get stronger painkillers from your GP on prescription.

Article Written By Rob Crompton, Head of RTA for the Road Traffic Department at Michael Lewin Solicitors.

rob crompton head of RTA michael lewin solicitors

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