Car accident victims can suffer a number of serious injuries following a car crash. Whiplash injuries can commonly be suffered in a car accident. By definition, whiplash is a fast and violent back-and-forth motion of the neck that can occur in a car accident, especially if the victim’s car has been rear-ended.

A whiplash injury causes the ligaments in the neck that protect the spinal cord to stretch and suffer injury. Additionally, following a whiplash injury that has injured the ligaments of the neck, the muscles in the neck, shoulder girdle and mid-back areas will likely spasm to attempt to protect the nerves and the spinal cord which is a vulnerable area of the body. In addition, the victim can experience potentially damaging inflammation. Even when the inflammation is reduced or has subsided, neck pain often remains because the muscles will still spasm and normal alignment of the vertebrae is not present.

Victims of whiplash injuries also often experience painful points in the neck and shoulder areas which are called trigger points that can refer the pain far away from the initial site of the injury they suffered. Victims can experience headaches and pain in the arm and shoulder which are often attributable to trigger points. Referred pain may develop and victims may experience symptoms including tingling, numbness and loss of strength. Symptoms of whiplash may appear immediately after the accident or the victim might not begin to experience them until hours or days following the accident.

Treatment can help improve the condition and physical therapy can aid in recovery. Whiplash injuries are serious and can impact the victim’s entire body and life. Because of the serious nature of the injuries victims of car accidents may suffer, resources and options are available to help them recover damages for the medical expenses and pain and suffering they endure.

Source: Health.gmnews.com, “Whiplash can be successfully treated with physical therapy,” Michael Sheynin, Physical Therapist, August 3, 2011