Whiplash is a common injury associated with car accidents. When the force of a car slamming into your own car occurs, your neck and head aren’t able to keep up with the fast pace of the impact. Your head and neck might snap back, forward, or to the side and cause whiplash. It’s so common in accident victims, many people fail to take it seriously. It’s a running joke to have whiplash watching a great tennis match or your child run across the lawn. It’s considered funny to use it when describing how you watched something quick, and it’s just one of the many reasons people fail to take whiplash seriously.
Whiplash does not always present at the scene of the accident. Many accident victims state it takes days, weeks, or even months to appear following an accident. It’s why so many victims turn down medical treatment at the scene. Nothing hurts, is bleeding, or appears broken so they forgo the need to seek medical attention. Don’t do this. Whiplash can begin immediately, but it rarely does. You could have it and not know for many weeks, but you want treatment for it right away if it’s a problem.
Why Seek Medical Treatment Immediately?
Whiplash is one of those things people don’t take as seriously as other injuries. When it’s left untreated and given ample time to develop, it can cause serious damage you can’t repair. Finding whiplash right away allows your doctor to find the issue and work on it. Treating it right away doesn’t give whiplash the kind of time it needs to cause serious damage, and that can make a difference in your future health.
Unfortunately, whiplash is easy to ignore. There are not clear symptoms or visible injuries, and doctors need time to evaluate the situation to figure out what to do next. Whiplash is far more complicated than many people realize. It’s not easy to diagnose prior to the onset of symptoms, and it’s not easy to treat when it is diagnosed. The more time your doctor has to evaluate your situation and diagnosis, the better your chance of a full recovery.
Common Symptoms of Whiplash
If you feel you’re suffering from whiplash, you might wonder if that’s what your symptoms mean.
– Neck pain
– Back pain in the lower back
Sometimes it’s easy to ignore the symptoms by assuming they’re from something else. Most people are completely unaware lower back pain is a result of whiplash, and they never associate the two. Some people might assume their neck or head pain is whiplash, but few believe their TMJ issues are a result of whiplash from an accident months ago.
Because of the diversity of side effects and symptoms, many people suffering from whiplash live many years unsure what their issue is, and they’re unable to seek treatment for the correct issue. If you see the doctor right away, you increase your chance of a proper diagnosis from the beginning.
What To Do
If you’re involved in an accident, don’t wait to see the doctor. Either accept the medical attention from medics who arrive on the scene of your accident, or call your doctor. Schedule an appointment for the same day or the day after your accident for him or her to check you out. They can help you figure out if whiplash might be a problem in the future, and they can also diagnose any other medical issues. Remember, whiplash is not the only medical issue that appears later. You could have internal injuries you know nothing about. Getting checked out right away is never a bad idea. The annoyance of wasting time at the doctor for nothing is far better than regret not treating serious injuries right away.