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Whiplash injuries are common in car accidents

As Kentucky motorists may know, car accidents, particularly those in which the vehicle is struck from behind, may result in whiplash. Such injuries might injure cervical musculature and may cause damage to ligaments and vertebrae in the cervical spine. Whiplash is due to the motion that the neck endures when the head snaps back and forth. Neck strains result in damage to the tendons, muscles or tissues that link the muscle to the vertebrae. The actual symptoms may be delayed for one day or more after the injury occurs. This may make it difficult to begin treatment, delaying beneficial steps at preventing more damage.

Symptoms may include neck pain and stiffness, headaches radiating from the back of the skull to the front of the head and pain when rotating the head to each side. If whiplash is accompanied by a concussion, the person may experience dizziness or confusion.

Treatment is often aimed at supporting the neck, and a neck brace may be used for this purpose. Applications of ice followed by moist heat may serve to relieve tenderness. Painkillers and ultrasound are other ways to relieve pain. If such methods do not work, surgery may be indicated. Seeing a doctor as soon as whiplash is suspected may be the best way to prevent escalation of symptoms and help the area heal.

A car accident is often caused by a distracted driver who does not focus on the roadway. A whiplash injury may limit a victim's mobility and keep them from working. Additionally, whiplash may involve medical and physical rehabilitation, and the cost of such therapy may be considerable. An attorney may help the injured individual by reviewing the cause of the accident using police reports in order to determine whether a personal injury suit should be filed.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Whiplash", accessed on Jan. 10, 2015

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