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Whiplash symptoms may develop days after accident

As Tennessee residents may know, motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of whiplash, which happens when the neck is suddenly jarred. The symptoms of whiplash may present several hours to two days after the accident occurs, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Whiplash is caused when the tendons and the muscles are stretched. Whiplash injury may also inflame root nerves and and cause tears in the ligaments surrounding the vertebrae. These ligaments protect and support the neck and prevent excess movement, which can cause damage.

When an individual experiences whiplash, symptoms may range from headache and stiffness and pain that can extend into the shoulder, arm, chest and back. Neck pain may be exacerbated by movement, and limiting motion may initially be advisable. There may be additional symptoms such as jaw pain, irritability, ringing in the ears and vertigo. Problems concentrating and fatigue are also associated with whiplash and, while most problems of this type resolve in time, certain individuals may experience symptoms for an extended period. Problems swallowing, dizziness, problems with vision and nausea may also appear and be attributed to whiplash.

Treatment usually consists of applying heat or ice to assist in reducing inflammation, muscle spasm and pain, and incorporating an exercise program and activity to recover from the injury faster. The ACA also points out that appropriate adjustment of head rests and wearing seat restraints while in a vehicle may help prevent more serious injuries.

When an individual is involved in an auto accident, it might be beneficial to consult an attorney if neck pain arises after the accident. Since whiplash may develop days after the accident, keeping a record of symptoms is advisable. If treatment is needed, it may be costly. There may be grounds to file a personal injury suit to recover appropriate damages.

Source: American Chiropractic Association, “Whiplash”, accessed on Jan. 10, 2015

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