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How Long Does Whiplash Last?

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When it comes to car accidents, there is always a potential for injuries. Even when there are no visible abrasions or cuts, victims can still suffer a range of soft tissue and musculoskeletal injuries that pose considerable consequences to their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Among these are whiplash injuries, or neck injuries caused when the head moves suddenly forward and backward. Whiplash is common in many types of car accidents, and especially so in rear-end collisions.

Whiplash injuries can cause pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility, as well as headaches and dizziness. How long does whiplash typically last? While minor cases of whiplash can be effectively treated at home over the course of several days to weeks, more serious cases can require medical intervention and longer recoveries that last months. As with most injuries, the length of your recovery will depend on the nature of your injuries and how they impact your life.

Because whiplash injuries can vary, and because they can cause more serious conditions and health concerns, it is always wise to seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible after an accident. Doing so can ensure that a doctor conducts the appropriate tests to rule out any serious injuries, and that they arrive at an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. In addition to discussing your symptoms at your appointment, you can also speak with your doctor about your prognosis, or their professional medical opinion regarding your injuries and recoveries.

At The Daspit Law Firm, our Houston car accident lawyers have helped many victims of car accidents navigate their recoveries and legal journeys. Our goal is to help clients as they return to full health, or become as well as they are able to become with appropriate treatment. Cases involving whiplash can entail many different elements, including:

  • Diagnosis – Diagnosing whiplash, or other serious conditions, is a matter that requires medical evaluation. You can discuss any symptoms you feel with your doctor, including pain and limited motion, so that they can conduct appropriate tests, including MRIs or X-rays. An accurate diagnosis will be essential to treating your injuries effectively.
  • Serious conditions – When evaluating patients, medical professionals will focus on ruling out or identifying any serious complications or conditions. In cases of severe or chronic pain, or pain that radiates to the shoulders and arms, the underlying cause may be damage to joints, nerves, discs, or ligaments. These serious injuries may require different treatment approaches, including pain management, chiropractic care, steroid injects, or even surgical intervention.
  • Brain injuries – It is important to note that concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries can occur even when there is no direct impact to the head. This is because the brain can become damaged when it rapidly accelerates and decelerates in the skull during a collision. If you are experiencing signs of a concussion – including sensitivity to light or sound, headaches, fatigue, trouble sleeping, dizziness, nausea, difficulties focusing, or problems with balance – you should immediately speak with a medical professional. Concussions can quickly become life-threatening when left unaddressed.
  • Treatment – How do you treat whiplash after an accident? Treatment plans will vary, but many patients with whiplash are treated using conservative approaches, including pain management, physical, therapy, and chiropractic care. More severe conditions may require additional intervention, such as trigger point injections or surgery, and concussions will necessitate medical monitoring and other treatments if symptoms do not resolve over time. Because treatment may require immobilization or otherwise limit activities for patients, you can speak with your doctor about whether you are able to perform the type of work you do.

Treating whiplash injuries, even if you believe you can tough them out, is essential to your health and well-being, and to avoiding complications in the future. Remember, if you are the victim of an auto accident that was not your fault, you will be able to pursue a recovery of any medical expenses associated with the injuries you suffered. This is in addition to other damages you may have incurred, such as lost income caused by missing work, your pain and suffering, and more.

The Daspit Law Firm is readily available to speak with victims about whiplash and any other injuries resulting from car accidents. To request a free consultation, contact us today.

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