Whiplash is an upper neck injury that is most often caused by slow speed road accidents and is the result of a sudden stop that leaves the sufferer in pain. This injury often requires medical attention. Whiplash affects many people who are in road traffic accidents and does not necessarily have any obvious external signs. It can however be a source of great discomfort and should not be ‘suffered in silence’. Having whiplash can restrict the amount of work you are able to do or in certain circumstances prevent you from working entirely. This makes whiplash a very real and very serious issue.
Whiplash is typically caused by the violent motion of a person’s head being thrown backwards and to the side in a sudden motion. The medical term for the physical cause of the injury is ‘cervical acceleration-deceleration’ and ‘whiplash associated disorders’ which are used to describe the symptoms that whiplash presents. As an injury it is most commonly associated with accidents involving motor vehicles but can be caused by any unnatural stress being placed upon the neck.
The first thing that you should do if you think you have suffered whiplash is to consult a medical professional. They will then be able to assess your injuries and may need to refer you to a specialist who will be able to treat the injury more effectively. The nature of the treatment will depend upon the severity of your injury and any other injuries which you may have experienced.
It is common for whiplash treatment to further restrict neck movement and to involve repeated visits to a neck injury specialist. Appointments will often take place during the day and this means that you will need to rearrange your work and personal life around them. Rearranging your schedule will most likely be a significant inconvenience to yourself. This can be complicated more by the nature of whiplash recovery that is often difficult to place a fixed timescale on. As a result, it often throws any long term planning that you have to the side. Whiplash prevents you from travelling any great distance and may mean that you have to postpone or even cancel planned holiday arrangements.
It is true that whiplash can have a long recovery time and may also have a devastating impact upon your life. However, you should not let external pressures stop you from seeking proper treatment. As with any injury it is of the utmost importance that you go through all of the correct medical procedures to return yourself to full and proper health. Regardless of the inconvenience the medical procedures will cause, it will be worth it to make a full recovery.
Whiplash is extremely unpleasant and can have a long term impact upon sufferers. The treatment can last months or even years and the psychological impact can last well beyond the physical pain. It is once you are started on the road to recovery that you can begin to decide what it is that you want to do next.