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What is whiplash and how is it caused

You may have heard of whiplash through someone you know experiencing it or from movies and television. But what exactly is it? 

The Mayo Clinic defines whiplash as a neck injury that occurs due to a forceful and rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. 

Though there are many causes of whiplash, the largest circumstance where we see this condition prevalent is in motor vehicle accidents, and West Virginia is no stranger to motor vehicle accidents.

With some of the most dangerous roads in the country, including I-81 and I-79, there is a likelihood that you or someone you know will experience an accident where whiplash could be a potential risk. 

How do I know if I have whiplash after an accident?

Whiplash can be sneaky in the sense that you may not experience symptoms at the time of the collision, but instead it may take a few days for those symptoms to develop. These include:

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches at the base of the skull
  • Pain in the shoulders and upper back
  • Above-average fatigue
  • Dizzy spells
  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus
  • Memory problems
  • Sudden depression

If you begin to experience any of those symptoms after an accident, you should see a doctor immediately. 

Why is seeing a doctor important?

Seeing a doctor is important to prevent the condition from worsening and to document the diagnosis. You also want to ensure you do not have any serious damage to the spinal cord and vertebrates. 

The sooner you diagnose the condition, the sooner you can begin the healing process to limit recovery time. Most often people recover in a few short weeks of medication and rest, but sometimes people take months to recover. 

Whiplash is a serious condition that should never be ignored. If you begin to notice any symptoms after a crash, be sure to seek legal support and medical treatment right away.

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