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Long-term complications of whiplash after a car accident

Whiplash has potential long-term effects. It is often more than simply a soreness in the neck for a few days after a car accident. According to a recent study, whiplash can result in chronic pain for years following an auto collision. Prolonged disability may even occur.

Victims of car accidents should be aware of the possible ongoing complications of sustaining a whiplash injury.

Whiplash symptoms

First, it is important to recognize common signs of whiplash injuries. Symptoms include:

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Pain in the upper back, shoulder or arms
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

In serious cases, people may also experience ringing in the ears, blurred vision, sleep problems, memory difficulties or depression.

Potential complications

While some people may recover from a whiplash injury within weeks or months, other times it may result in a debilitating disability. Car crash victims may deal with chronic neck pain or headaches for several years. Sometimes this pain can be linked to damaged neck joints, ligaments and discs. These ongoing complications are more likely if initial symptoms include severe neck pain, headaches, quick onset of pain and pain radiating to the arms.

Treatments

For people with ongoing symptoms, going back to work may take some time. Doctors may use various treatments to control pain and get patients back to performing normal activities. For some people, at-home care such as rest, ice or heat, and over-the-counter pain relievers may be sufficient. Other times, people need prescription painkillers, physical therapy, foam collars or injections.

While some people may assume that whiplash only causes mild pain in the neck that is treated easily, this is not always the case. It can result in disability and make car collision victims unable to work. With the help of the right medical and legal professionals, you can get the treatment and help you need to get back on track.

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