Dealing With Whiplash: What You Need To Know

Neck strain — most often referred to as whiplash — happens when an impact causes the head to jerk forward and backward quickly. The sudden force of this movement can stretch and tear the muscles in the neck.

Whiplash can result from a variety of circumstances, but car accidents are the most common cause. Unlike visible post-collision injuries such as broken bones and abrasions, it’s not uncommon for whiplash and its symptoms to take a few days to appear. Even low-impact and low-speed vehicle accidents (of 30 miles per hour or less) can result in a whiplash injury. It is important to recognize the signs and know when and how to effectively treat this condition.

When Should I Seek Treatment for Whiplash?

When whiplash is not promptly treated, symptoms may include pain in the neck, shoulders or back; headaches or migraines; exhaustion; dizziness; blurred vision and more. These are short-term consequences, but they can affect day-to-day life and have the potential to grow into chronic problems. Whiplash can often be treated with home remedies such as pain management or exercise. Depending on the severity, it may require further care, including physical therapy. Most cases resolve over a few days, but recovery time can vary depending on how quickly the condition is addressed. Consult the accompanying infographic for guidelines on the best way to deal with whiplash, along with preventive tips.

Infographic created by Capital Auto Auction, an online car auction company.

Author bio: Reid Zaritsky is Senior Vice President of Capital Auto Auction, a family-run business since 1988 that focuses on finding the right vehicles for families of all sizes. Zaritsky has been with the company since 2009 and has a background in science and engineering.

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