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How to know if you have whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common complications people experience after a car accident. Research shows that over one million people get whiplash every year in the United States. Occasionally, the symptoms go away on their own. Other times, the person needs medical treatment to feel better once again. 

It is vital to recognize you do not have to travel very fast in your car to get whiplash. Some people get it after being in a traffic collision where both vehicles traveled less than 10 miles per hour. The sooner you get treatment for your whiplash, the sooner you can get back to your normal routine. 

Know the symptoms of whiplash

You should see a doctor within 24 hours of the car accident. It will help your claim if you see a doctor shortly after suffering from a car crash. Another important reason you need medical help is that the symptoms of whiplash may not manifest for a day or two. Some people may not even notice it for a couple of weeks. When you experience the following after a car crash, you know you need prompt medical treatment:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Tenderness in the arms, upper back and shoulders
  • Worsening of pain any time you move your neck
  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Dizziness and blurry vision
  • Tingling sensation in the arms
  • Chronic headaches, primarily centralized in the skull's base
  • Loss of motion around the neck
  • Difficulty remembering details about the crash
  • Sleep problems
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Depression

You are more likely to have worse symptoms if you experienced whiplash before. Older individuals and people with a history of back and shoulder pain may also have more pronounced symptoms. Failing to treat the complications quickly could result in greater chronic pain for years to come. Treatments are available. You just need to seek them out immediately. 

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