Whiplash is a neck injury that often results from a car crash. It typically causes neck pain that tends to go away within weeks. However, you should not ignore neck pains if you are ever in a car accident. Not only can whiplash have long-term adverse effects, but it also shares several symptoms with cervical spine injuries.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash occurs when sudden movement strains or tears the muscles and other soft tissues surrounding your neck. It can happen for several reasons, but it is a typical result of rear-end collisions.
The symptoms of whiplash include pain in the shoulders, back and neck, headaches, confusion, exhaustion and ringing in the ears. These signs are not always immediately apparent; some people experience neck pain months after their accident.
Whiplash often heals independently, but a doctor might recommend medications and other measures to treat the injury and reduce its symptoms. If untreated, whiplash sometimes causes long-term pain and neck impairment, recurring headaches, weakened eyesight and other lasting effects.
What is a cervical spine injury?
The cervical spine is the neck portion of your spine. Your cervical spine might suffer injuries because of sudden and powerful trauma, such as what you might experience from frontal and side collisions.
Cervical spine injuries are severe and can result in paralysis and death. Like whiplash, it might manifest as pain in the neck and surrounding body parts, accompanied by numbness and weakness. Cervical spine injuries require immediate medical attention and treatment.
How can you tell?
The best way to confirm which of the two you suffer from is to see a doctor as soon as you are able. Your physician will conduct tests and procedures to determine the cause of your symptoms and the extent of your injuries. They might also recommend treatments to help you return to your job and normal routine if possible.
Car crashes can result in serious injuries that might cost money to treat and recover from. A personal injury attorney can help you build a case against the parties responsible for the accident and fight for your rights in court.