Though some bodily injuries are readily apparent after an accident, like bleeding or broken bones, other times a victim may feel fine at first, only for symptoms to emerge later on.
One of the most common delayed-onset injuries is whiplash. The symptoms of whiplash can take up to 24 hours after an accident to emerge, even though it is usually caused when the victim’s head snaps back and forward, such as might happen when your car is rear-ended. As the Mayo Clinic explains on its website, common whiplash symptoms include:
- Neck stiffness and pain that gets worse as you move
- Reduced range of neck motion
- Headaches that start at the base of the skull
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Pain or soreness in the shoulders, arms or upper back
Less often, whiplash victims experience things like depression, memory problems, irritability and tinnitus.
Obviously, whiplash can be seriously debilitating, but many patients recover within a few months. There are several things your doctor may recommend, such as a brief rest period, ice or heat, pain medication and exercise. Years ago, doctors would prescribe a neck brace, but research has shown that immobilizing the neck for a long time hampers recovery.
When traditional medicine cannot help, alternative medicine like acupuncture, chiropractic care and massage might ease the pain.
Chronic pain is deeply unpleasant, and seriously impacts the victim’s quality of life. Whiplash often takes a long time to heal, and treatment can get expensive. Those whose whiplash was caused by another party’s negligence should not have to pay this financial burden themselves.