Can Whiplash Symptoms Get Worst Over Time?
Whiplash is the most common injury from a non-fatal car accident. It might seem benign, but whiplash is actually very serious and can lead to a whole host of painful and debilitating symptoms. If left untreated, whiplash symptoms can get worse over time, leaving car accident victims in pain, out of work, and oftentimes buried in medical bills.
An Ellis Injury Law car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve for your whiplash injury to help you cover any medical costs, missed work, and general pain and suffering.
The most common whiplash symptoms are:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Reduced or painful neck movement
- Neck tenderness
These symptoms don’t seem too bad, but they generally don’t manifest for six to 12 hours after the initial accident and will continue to get worse if left untreated. Serious whiplash side effects may not appear immediately at the time of injury, but they can continue for years.
The dangers of untreated whiplash
Untreated whiplash can lead to severe, chronic health conditions. Whiplash victims are left with chronic pain more often than people think. In a study published in Neurology, it was reported that 7.8% of study participants had not been able to return to their normal activity level more than one year after their initial whiplash injury.
If not treated in a timely manner, whiplash can overextend or tear tendons and muscles in the neck, limiting range of motion and putting extra pressure on the spine, head, shoulders and even the brainstem, leading to serious conditions like:
- Chronic pain – Stressed, stretched or torn neck ligaments and muscles necessitate careful and expert treatment in order for correct repair. If whiplash victims improperly treat or don’t treat these injuries, the ligaments and muscles can repair incorrectly and cause chronic pain.
- Long-term mobility issues – Neck, head, and upper back inflammation can make it very hard and almost impossible to move around without pain. If left untreated, this inflammation can progress to other areas of the body and cause long-term mobility issues.
- Vertigo – Vertigo is when a person feels like he is spinning or falling, often causing dizziness and fainting. Vertigo is associated with whiplash as neck injuries can misalign the cervical spine, leading to non-vestibular dizziness or cervicogenic dizziness.
- Headaches – Whiplash is often associated with radiating pain from the neck to the head, base of the skull, and forehead. These headaches can pop up immediately after the incident or can flare up days to weeks afterward and persist for months to years if not treated.
- Misaligned vertebrae – The C1 and C2 vertebrae form the joint that connects the spine and skull. Whiplash often misaligns these two vertebrae, which can limit proper communication between the brain and central nervous system, causing a wide range of nasty complications.
- Degenerative disc diseases – Degenerative disc diseases are when the vertebrae break down, causes symptoms from pain and numbness to weakness, loss of flexibility, and less resilience in day-to-day wear and tear. Untreated whiplash often leads to degenerative disc diseases as it weakens the muscles in the neck that support and protect the delicate vertebrae.
These are just a few of the many long-term side effects of untreated whiplash. If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention to see if you have whiplash and begin treatment right away if necessary.
Even the mildest whiplash symptoms can turn into full-blown, chronic health conditions if not treated properly and quickly.
How can I pay for whiplash treatment?
The car accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law can help if you’re concerned about paying for medical attention after a whiplash injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and we will work hard to protect your legal rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t owe us a cent until we win on your behalf. Call Ellis Injury Law car accident attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about how we can help you after your whiplash injury.