Whiplash is a common injury encountered by Philadelphia Whiplash Injury Lawyer John Fox
Whiplash occurs to a person’s neck following a sudden acceleration-deceleration force, most commonly from car accidents. “Whiplash injury” describes damage to both the bone structures and soft tissues, while “whiplash associated disorders” describes a more severe and chronic condition.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer John Fox understands that whiplash can lead to a prolonged period of partial disability. Significant economic expenses related to whiplash include medical care, disability, sick leave, and lost productivity. Some people involved in minor car accidents recover quickly without any chronic symptoms, and some experience symptoms for years after the injury. The wide range in symptoms after relatively minor injuries has led to many clinical studies which have concluded that whiplash is a real condition with real symptoms and can become a chronic issue if not treated properly.
Whiplash injuries are most commonly caused by a car accident in which the car the person is riding is not moving and is struck by a vehicle from behind without notice. Recent studies have shown that the rear impact causes the head and neck to be forced into hyperextension as the seat pushes the person’s torso forward, and the unrestrained head and neck fall backwards. This leads to an abnormal S-shape in the cervical spine after the rear impact that is different from the normal motion. It is thought that this abnormal motion causes damage to the soft tissues that hold the cervical vertebrae together. Although this is a classic scenario causing a whiplash injury, Philadelphia whiplash injury lawyer John Fox successfully represents victims of whiplash caused by a wide range of types of impact scenarios.
The most common symptoms related to whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, headache, shoulder pain and stiffness, dizziness, fatigue, jaw pain, arm pain, arm weakness, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears, and back pain. Philadelphia Whiplash Injury Lawyer John Fox recommends that you see a doctor immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms following a car accident. In the more severe and chronic case of “whiplash associated disorder” symptoms can include depression, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, drug dependency, post-traumatic stress syndrome, sleep disturbance, and social isolation. Additional conditions related to whiplash injuries can be complex and may include a variety of related problems such as joint dysfunction and a herniated disc.
Whiplash is diagnosed by a doctor’s examination and symptoms. Based on the symptoms and examination findings the doctor may place a collar on the neck for additional support. The doctor may also obtain x-rays or obtain an MRI. Dynamic x-rays or MRI scans are better able to detect injuries to the soft tissues of the neck, especially instability, that may not been seen with normal x-rays of the neck.
Treatment of whiplash depends on the symptoms present. Philadelphia whiplash injury lawyer John Fox recommends patients of whiplash educate themselves about their whiplash injury. Cervical collar, early range of motion exercises within the first 4 days of injury, and physical therapy have all proven helpful in the healing process of whiplash. Excessive rest and immobilization have greater chances of developing into chronic symptoms. Occupational therapy may be helpful before returning to the work.
A common misconception about whiplash injury is that if the vehicle does not sustain damage in a low speed impact, then whiplash injury to the occupant does not occur. In reality, low impact collisions can produce correspondingly higher dynamic loading on the occupants because the lack of crushing metal to absorb the forces results in a greater force applied to items or occupants of the vehicle.