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Why You Shouldn't Ignore Whiplash

It’s essential to see a doctor if you experience a whiplash injury. Whiplash is a sudden neck strain or sprain that affects over two million people in the United States each year. Auto accidents are a common cause of whiplash injuries, and this is especially true of rear-end collisions.

Whiplash occurs when your head snaps forward and then backward suddenly and forcefully in a whip-like motion. This causes the joints, muscles and ligaments of the neck to stretch too far, injuring the cervical spine.

Injuries from auto accidents may not be immediately noticeable, so it’s vital to seek medical evaluation even if you aren’t in pain initially. Here at Tulsa Accident Care Center, our auto accident specialist, Robert Mitchell, MD, has extensive experience evaluating and treating car accident injuries such as whiplash. If you’re injured in a car accident, you should never brush it off. Here’s what you should know.

Whiplash can occur at low speeds

Whiplash injuries can occur at speeds as low as 10 miles per hour. Neck pain may occur immediately after a whiplash injury, but it may occur hours, days, or weeks later. Whether or not you have pain, you shouldn’t ignore a potential whiplash injury.

Even a fender bender can cause injury. No matter how minor your car accident, it’s imperative to see a doctor for evaluation. When you come in to see us, we perform diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, to check for fractures, dislocations, or other types of injuries. 

Untreated whiplash can have long-term effects

Without proper treatment, whiplash can lead to severe or chronic pain. Torn muscles or ligaments that don’t heal properly can limit the range of motion in your neck and cause pressure in the neck and shoulders.

Left untreated, whiplash can cause:

With proper treatment, most people recover fully from whiplash within three months.

What to look out for

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it’s common to feel shaken up, and you may not realize you have whiplash or any other injuries. Complicating matters, some injuries you sustain from auto accidents are delayed. 

Look out for the following signs and symptoms:

Remember, even if you don’t have any symptoms, you should always seek immediate medical attention right after an auto accident. 

Treating whiplash

Patients who visit Tulsa Accident Care Center receive a comprehensive evaluation. Treating whiplash typically involves a combination of treatments that may include:

These approaches help reduce inflammation, ease pain, and restore function. Your specific treatment will depend on several factors, including the extent of your injury, your medical history, and your overall health.

Car wrecks can happen to anyone. When you’re in an auto accident, or one of your loved ones is, it’s important to see an experienced personal injury doctor as soon as possible. Schedule a visit with us at the Tulsa Accident Care Center to get the care and guidance you need. Call our office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, or book your request online today.

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