You’re probably familiar with a sprain – it is, after all, easy enough to do if you turn your ankle over with all your weight on it. Yet while this is one of the most common parts of the body to sprain, you can also sprain your neck. You may not hear it referred to in this way, though – it is far more likely to be called whiplash. While many cases of whiplash will be mild and get better without treatment, some people may experience a trapped nerve after whiplash. This can be very painful and debilitating.
A trapped nerve will cause several symptoms. If you are suffering from whiplash anyway, you may not be aware you have a trapped nerve after whiplash, at least not to start with. However, you should be on alert for the following symptoms:
- Pins and needles
- A feeling of weakness in the affected area
One source reveals that a trapped nerve after whiplash can be diagnosed with the help of scans and x-rays. Of course, if you have been in a car accident and you know you have whiplash (you may already have received a diagnosis from your GP or from medical experts at a casualty unit or similar place), the GP will likely identify the trapped nerve because of that accident.
How does whiplash occur to begin with?
While you can get whiplash from a sudden blow to the head or a heavy impact while playing contact sports, it is most likely to occur as the result of a car accident. It’s possible to suffer whiplash if you are in a head-on collision, but research has shown that being hit from behind while in your car is the mostly likely scenario. This could lead to whiplash or a trapped nerve after whiplash if you are unlucky.
You may feel some initial pain in your neck when the injury occurs, but the flow of adrenaline can mask the feelings. Additionally, it may take several hours or even a day or so to develop the condition. Even if you go to bed that night feeling okay, you may wake up in the morning with a stiff neck, a headache and neck pain – all indicative of whiplash.
How long will it take to get over a case of whiplash?
This depends, even though it is one of the most common questions people ask their GP when they have been diagnosed with the injury. The speed of the car(s) in the accident will be a significant factor. Women also seem to get whiplash more commonly than men, although they may be no more likely to suffer worse injuries, including a trapped nerve after whiplash.
One source of information, the BC Medical Journal, confirmed a severe case of whiplash was likely to include a trapped or pinched nerve and may be classed as a type three case of whiplash. This will take longer to recover from than a mild case that may only require a few weeks to get over completely.
Why is it so important to seek medical advice?
A car accident happens in a split-second. The forces involved can be significant, even at low speed. You may think you’ve escaped with nothing but bruises, but your neck may have been injured more seriously than you’d think. While most people do recover from whiplash and have no lasting effects, the forces exerted on the neck at the point of impact can be marked. The tendons, muscles and ligaments in your neck are only designed to stretch to a certain point. Whiplash occurs when they stretch beyond that point, leading to painful injuries that can take days, weeks or even months to heal from. You can see how easy it would be to trap a nerve in this situation.
When you experience symptoms, see your GP for advice. They can diagnose whiplash and will probably be able to do so without needing to recommend you for any tests. Make sure you tell them about any numbness, pins and needles or other similar symptoms you may be having as well. This will help them diagnose a trapped nerve so you can get the appropriate treatment.
If you were struck by someone else and that driver is the one to blame for the accident, your medical history will be a crucial piece of evidence in helping to prove your case. You may still have an opportunity to try to claim for a trapped nerve after whiplash, but it may be harder as there is less evidence to support your claim.
Taking the best course of action to learn more
It’s common enough to experience neck pain following a whiplash injury. It is difficult to provide an accurate assessment of what you could receive in compensation for a whiplash injury, since it depends on how bad your specific injury is. However, it is reasonable to assume a long-lasting injury involving a trapped nerve may potentially lead to a greater award than one that doesn’t include this element and heals very quickly in contrast.
Knowing where to turn after any type of accident can be difficult. You want the best advice but you don’t want to have any obligation to continue with a claim if you feel you do not wish to do so. With that in mind, why not ring Accident Advice Helpline today? If you do, you will discover why so many others have chosen to call us over more than 16 years.
Call us if you have a trapped nerve after whiplash
Call today on 0800 689 0500, or if you’re using a mobile, ring 0333 500 0993 instead. Our experienced advisors are waiting to hear from you, and they will be able to tell you whether you could claim anything for a trapped nerve after whiplash. Make sure you have a chance to call on one of our lawyers to represent you. They always act on a no-win, no-fee basis, to ensure you can proceed if you want them to do so.
Date Published: 8th April 2013
Author: Sharon Parry