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By Jessica A Parker
Whiplash is an injury to the neck area, resulting from a strain to ligaments in the spine. It is caused by sudden movements of the neck, such as those which occur during sudden deceleration in a car accident.
Whiplash is usually a minor injury which causes some pain and impedes movement in the neck area, but in some cases it can be very painful indeed. Symptoms of whiplash will usually appear within a few days of the incident, it can last for a short or long period of time, and there is no reliable treatment for it. However, whiplash patients are usually advised to return to normal activities as quickly as possible.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash cannot be seen on an MRI scan, CT scan or X-ray. Because whiplash has no visible symptoms at all, doctors must diagnose the injury according to the patients’ description of their symptoms and the background of the injury.
A whiplash patient’s symptoms can include headaches, neck and back pain, stiffness and sensory disturbance like pins and needles, dizziness, blurred vision, pain on swallowing, muscle spasms, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
One or more of these symptoms usually start within a few days of the accident and go on for a few days up to a few weeks. In a few cases, however, the symptoms persist for much longer, this is called ‘whiplash syndrome’.
People with whiplash syndrome tend to complain of symptoms such as persistent pain and headaches, a stiff neck, tingling in the arms, problems with sleeping and a reduced libido.
How should the symptoms of whiplash be treated?
Whiplash is difficult to treat and there is no single treatment agreed upon by doctors. However, studies have shown that people usually recover more quickly if they get back to normal everyday activities as soon as possible. Wearing a soft collar has been shown to hinder recovery from whiplash.
If there is a possible fracture or dislocation, the whiplash victim should get back to their normal routine as soon as possible.
To relieve the symptoms, doctors usually advise whiplash victims to take painkillers such as paracetamol. An ice pack applied to the painful area within 24 hours of the whiplash injury can help to reduce inflammation.
Claiming for whiplash compensation
If you have suffered whiplash following an accident which wasn’t your fault, you may be able to claim for compensation to recover any lost earnings and gain recompense for your pain and suffering. This can be done on a no win, no fee basis.
There are some points in favour of claiming for whiplash compensation. If your symptoms are relatively minor at first, but start to become more pronounced after a period of time, an earlier claim will be more plausible because there will be a paper trail leading back closer to the time of the accident.
Whiplash claims can be very helpful to the sufferer, and because they are no win, no fee, the victim should receive 100% of the compensation, and not have to pay a penny in fees and costs.
About the Author: National Accident Helpline are specialists in whiplash claims. Our solicitors help victims of whiplash, such as car accident whiplash, make a claim for personal injury.
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