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Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed

As New Jersey residents may know, whiplash is a common injury that can result from car accidents. This type of injury is slow to manifest symptoms and may pose significant problems to the sufferer. If left untreated, it may cause chronic pain and limit daily activities.

Whiplash is also referred to as cervical sprain, cervical strain or hyper-extension injury. During a sudden impact, at any speed, the head is whipped back and forth in quick fashion. When this happens, the muscles, ligaments or tendons may be injured or, in severe cases, torn. Even minute tears may cause pain, weaken ligaments or tendons and make them more susceptible to future injury.

An individual faced with a hyper-extension injury may notice serious neck pain, upper-back soreness and restricted neck movement. He or she may also experience cognitive difficulties including memory loss, an inability to concentrate or confusion. The variability of symptom onset is a main complication with whiplash, often making it difficult to diagnose initially. Lack of appropriate treatment may result in a chronic situation with back and neck pain becoming prominent and possibly debilitating.

Another complication is the inability to visualize over-extension injury and soft tissue damage on an X-ray. Health care professionals may use history and musculo-skeletal range of motion studies to establish a diagnosis. Keeping a record of all symptoms, as well as doctor visits, may help if a civil case for personal injury is filed.

When individuals are hurt in car accidents, it may be advantageous to speak with an attorney, who might be able to help calculate the financial cost of lost time from work and medical treatment that resulted from an individual’s injuries. The attorney may assist in filing a personal injury suit to cover such damages.

Source: American Chiropractic Association , “Whiplash”, accessed on Jan. 10, 2015

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