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Back & Neck Pain after a Car Accident
Every year, people across Washington suffer serious harm in car accidents. Many of these injuries are immediately obvious, like broken bones, cuts, and road rash. Some injuries, like back and neck pain, don’t manifest symptoms for hours or even days following the initial collision.
After a car accident, back and neck pain is often a sign of whiplash. Without medical care, this condition can be extremely painful and debilitating. In these situations, you should seek treatment as soon as possible—and contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Symptoms of Whiplash after a Car Accident
Whiplash is an injury that is caused by the forceful, rapid movement of the neck. The force generated by a car accident can cause the neck and upper body to move back and forth in a violent, sudden manner. As a result, the soft tissues in these areas can twist, tear, and sprain.
The symptoms of whiplash may not appear for a few days after the accident. Below are some of the most common:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain that worsens with neck movement
- Tenderness in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
How to Treat Whiplash after a Car Accident
Without prompt medical care, whiplash can have a major impact on your quality of life. Most patients recover within a few weeks and do not suffer from lasting complications. If you do not go to the doctor, the symptoms can last for months or even years following the accident.
If you’ve been in a collision, it’s important to go to the hospital right away, even if you do not feel injured. Your doctor will perform an initial examination to assess the range of motion in your neck and shoulders and ask you about physical symptoms like pain or tenderness.
After the diagnosis, your doctor will recommend treatment to help control the pain, restore the range of motion in your neck, and help you get back to your daily activities. Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend the following:
- Rest: For the first couple of days after your injury, bed rest could help alleviate some symptoms. However, prolonged rest could harm your recovery.
- Medications: Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or muscle relaxants to relieve some pain and inflammation. Prescription medications and injections could also help relieve nerve pain.
- Exercises: Some stretching and movement exercises can help restore your physical abilities and help you resume your daily activities. These exercises may include rolling your shoulders; moving your head from side to side; and rotating your neck.
- Physical Therapy: For serious, ongoing cases, your doctor may recommend that you attend physical therapy sessions. This rehabilitation can help you feel better and avoid injury.
Recovering Compensation for Whiplash after a Collision
If you developed whiplash in a car accident, you can struggle to get back to your daily life. The cost of your medical care may exceed thousands of dollars, and you may spend a few days or even weeks away from work.
As a car accident victim, you may be entitled to financial compensation. In Washington, you have the right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the person responsible for your collision. In these situations, a car accident lawyer can help you recover the settlement that you deserve.
As soon as possible following your accident, contact an attorney to discuss your case and plan your next steps.