What are the long-term effects of whiplash?
In a few whiplash cases, the effects of the injury can be long-term, and it helpful to know what these long-term effects look like.
Whiplash is the name for the injury that occurs when the head is violently jerked forward and backward. The most common effect of whiplash is a strain in the neck, but other symptoms can include dizziness, fatigue, numbness or tingling in the arms, pain or tenderness in the arms, upper back or shoulder, and a loss of the neck’s normal range of motion. When whiplash occurs, the brain can strike against the inside of the skull, leading to a traumatic brain injury. Whiplash-related concussions may lead to memory issues, difficulty concentrating, irritability, sleep disturbances, tinnitus or blurred vision.
Most people deal with the symptoms of whiplash or a whiplash-related TBI for a few weeks, and then feel better. In some rare cases, however, the effects of whiplash can be long-term. As such, it is important to monitor someone who has suffered from whiplash to assess if there is a risk of these complications occurring. Understanding what the long-term effects of whiplash look like can help people to understand what is happening to them, and may empower them to seek the help they need.
Presentation of long-term whiplash symptoms
The first thing to pay attention to when somebody gets whiplash is what kind of symptoms they experience immediately and over the next few days. These can serve as indicators that the person is at a high risk of developing complications. If the injured person has pain that spreads to his or her arms and a range of motion that is more limited compared to typical whiplash victims, and if the pain he or she experiences in his or her neck is very severe, it indicates the higher risk. What happens when complications do develop is the injured person will develop a form of chronic pain that is related to the original symptoms.
Risk-factors for long-term whiplash
The people who are at the highest risk for developing whiplash complications include those who were moving at a high speed when they were injured. One risk factor is a preexisting condition of neck pain or lower back pain, and in some cases, the complication is an exacerbation of one of these. The older somebody is, the more likely they are to suffer from the effects of whiplash long-term, and the risk also increases if he or she has previously incurred whiplash at any point in his or her life.
Long-term whiplash-related chronic pain can be life-altering, and the medical costs for treatment can get out of hand fast. It may be possible to obtain financial compensation with the help of an attorney in the local area who practices personal injury law.