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BK Blog Post
This condition is often not serious - many sufferers recover within a few months of appropriate whiplash treatment. Some individuals experience pain for longer periods of time - those with pre-existing neck pain or the elderly. The nature and extent of injury can vary, and diagnosis is often by a process of elimination following physical examination, scans, x-rays and evaluation of medical records. Although x-rays cannot detect soft tissue injury, computer generated topography scans or magnetic resonance imaging often can.
Whiplash treatment cannot begin until there is a positive diagnosis which is based on observation of symptoms, evaluation of medical history, physical examination and consideration of neurological difficulties. Symptoms can, however, be difficult to detect immediately after the accident; indeed, they may not appear until sometime after the injury – sometimes weeks after it.
The emergence of whiplash symptoms sometimes occurs immediately after an accident but for some individuals can take days or weeks. Whiplash symptoms may include: -
neck pain or stiffness or both
difficulty in swallowing
blurred and disrupted vision
dizziness or tiredness
pain occurring in or between the shoulders
pain in the limbs, or feet and hands
lower back pain or stiffness
ringing in one's ears
numbness, tingling, vertigo
pain in the jaw and other facial discomfort
Soft Tissue Injury
Injury to the neck known as acceleration/deceleration syndrome or more usually referred to as whiplash is now the most common injury to form the basis of a road traffic accident compensation claim. In the past this was not the case, due to the difficulty in providing evidence of soft tissue injury using only x-rays or radiographs. Advances in technology including CAT scans, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound methods have enabled soft tissue injury to be detected. Although this form of injury rarely requires surgery and most people fully recover, some vulnerable individuals, including those with pre-existing neck conditions or the elderly, may not recover fully and may exhibit permanent whiplash symptoms and suffer long term pain or a chronic neck condition.
Acceleration / Deceleration Syndrome
Whiplash symptoms occurs when the neck is injured by sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head followed by an involuntary reflex reaction in the opposite direction which can stretch and tear the nerves, muscles and ligaments of the neck. In a motor vehicle collision, in the absence of a headrest, the injury can be made more severe because there is nothing in place to reduce or prevent hyperextension of the neck. In more detail, the initial flexion of neck muscles when the head is forced backwards, or forwards is followed by a reflex action in the opposite direction whereby the individual’s muscles contract. This contraction is generally over-compensatory, stretching and tearing nerves, muscles and ligaments and may also involve the vertebrae’s discs bulging, tearing or rupturing and moving out of position leading to whiplash symptoms.
Whiplash treatment used to involve immobilization in a cervical collar but nowadays doctors prefer to encourage early mobilisation and the use of a soft collar only on a short term or intermittent basis. A quick return to employment is encouraged, although physical work should be modified appropriately. Doctors may recommend a variety of whiplash treatment as there is not one that is specific for the condition. This might include analgesics, exercises, physical therapy, traction, massage, the application of heat or of ice, injections or ultrasound therapy. Surgery is only likely to be required in rare circumstances in which individuals develop a chronic or long-term problem - most problems are resolved in six months. In fact, the current recommendation for whiplash treatment is to resume normal functioning as soon as possible, just modifying daily tasks where necessary. Those who are active and exercise their necks in spite of the pain will usually enjoy a quicker recovery.
Whiplash Injury Claim Solicitors
Our whiplash injury claim solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. If the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. If you have been injured in an accident within the last three years that was the fault of someone else just contact our whiplash injury claim solicitors. If after talking to that compensation claim solicitor you decide to proceed no further, there is no obligation and you will not be charged for any advice.
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