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Think whiplash is no big deal? Think again

If you were recently in a minor car accident, you might have noticed an increasing tenderness in your neck and shoulders over the following days. Not a problem, you think. It is only whiplash, and it will get better soon. However, you might not want to be so quick to discount a whiplash injury. For you and others in Ohio who are suffering from this type of injury, whiplash can become more than an inconvenient pain in the neck.

WebMD describes whiplash as an injury to the soft tissues surrounding your joints and vertebrae, particularly the ligaments and muscles supporting your neck. People most oftenn get whiplash in rear-end car accidents or sports incidents when the head is violently whipped back and forth due to a sudden impact. If you saw the accident coming, you might have tensed up, which could worsen the effects of whiplash over time.

How do you know you have whiplash? The following signs are classic symptoms of this type of injury:

  • Stiffness and difficulty moving your head and neck
  • Radiating pain from your shoulders, sometimes down your arms to your hands or fingertips
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands or fingers
  • A chronic headache ranging from mild to severe
  • Dizziness, fatigue or confusion
  • Irritability and difficulty concentrating

You might have initially felt fine after the accident, only to have pain and stiffness show up later and increase in intensity. This is not uncommon in whiplash. Many cases resolve on their own, but you might need physical therapy or prescription pain medication to help while you are healing. It may also be a good idea to see your doctor to rule out other injuries that oftenn present with whiplash, such as a concussion.

Seeing your doctor should be one of the first things you do after being in an accident, no matter how minor it seemed. You may also wish to speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options regarding compensation.

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