Whiplash is a common type of car accident injury in Colorado that can cause long-term complications for some victims that can reduce the quality of their lives. People who are involved in auto accidents should promptly seek medical attention. Some people may not initially recognize that they have been injured. Whiplash injury symptoms may not appear for hours or days after an accident. Getting prompt medical treatment may help people recover faster and may build stronger evidence that the whiplash resulted from their accidents.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a type of injury that commonly occurs in certain types of car crashes. The most common type of car accident that may cause whiplash is a rear-end collision. When a vehicle is traveling slower than a vehicle that is approaching from behind or is at a standstill when it is struck, an occupant of the front vehicle may suffer whiplash.
Whiplash includes potential injuries to the neck, shoulders, head, ligaments, muscles, and bones. When a rear vehicle collides into a front vehicle, a front vehicle’s car occupants may have their heads and necks violently propelled forward because of the physical forces of the collision. As the forces subside, their heads and necks may be thrown backward, causing them to be hyperextended. This violent front-to-back movement can cause multiple injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and bones of the neck and shoulders. While some people might recover from whiplash in a matter of weeks, others may face complications and chronic symptoms that can continue for months or years and that impact their ability to work and to enjoy life.
Complications of Whiplash
The Mayo Clinic reports that the common symptoms of whiplash may develop within 24 hours, but it may also take longer for them to appear. These symptoms include neck pain that worsens when people move their necks or turn their heads, reduced the range of motion of the neck, headaches, shoulder and arm pain, tingling in the arms, dizziness, and fatigue. People who suffer severe whiplash injuries may suffer the following complications:
- Chronic, severe headaches
- Pain radiating from the neck and shoulders into the arms
- Chronic, severe neck pain
Complications from whiplash can cause ongoing problems and interfere with the victims’ ability to function, making it crucial for people to get treatment.