8 Whiplash Facts You Should Know

Posted: August 8, 2018

These whiplash facts might surprise you

If you suspect you might have whiplash—a neck strain or sprain that causes damage to ligaments, tendons and muscles—or you were recently in a car accident, here are the top 8 whiplash facts you should know.

Whiplash can occur even at low speeds

You might assume that it requires a lot of force to injure your neck and suffer whiplash. However, whiplash injuries can occur from vehicles that were going as slow as 5 mph at the time of the accident. Higher speeds can result in a more severe injury, but don’t assume you’re injury free if the speed of impact was low.

Movement speeds recovery

After a couple of days rest, recovery is quicker if you start moving again after suffering whiplash. Our tendency is to limit movement when there’s pain, but this will actually prolong recovery of whiplash. Recent studies have also shown that neck braces and the like might actually impede recovery from whiplash injuries.

You might have whiplash even if you don’t have pain

Too often, people assume that if they have no pain right after an accident, they don’t have whiplash. Most symptoms do develop with 24 hours of the accident, but that’s not always the case. You should always see a physician to get checked out after any accident.

Whiplash can cause back pain

When you suffer a neck injury, it can also cause chronic back pain. Additionally, if an injured person compensates for pain in one area of the body, it can result in aches and pains in other areas of the body by not walking correctly or adjusting posture to relieve pain.

Whiplash is not always caused by a car accident

Car accidents cause the majority of the whiplash cases in the United States, but whiplash can occur anytime the head is violently jerked backward and forward in a motion similar to a nod. People have also suffered whiplash from contact sports, falls and other activities or trauma.

Whiplash severity increases with age

As we age, typically movement is more limited and our muscles lose strength and flexibility. So, an impact can cause more intense symptoms.

Reduce your chances of whiplash

Wear your seatbelt correctly, ensure the headrest sits at the right height and recline your seat as little as possible as you drive. These measures help reduce the likelihood of sustaining whiplash injuries.

How long does the pain last?

While many of those who suffer from whiplash are free from pain within a few days or months, there are between 12-50% of people who still have persistent neck pain after a year. There’s no way to predict how long whiplash will last for you, but you are more likely to suffer chronic pain after whiplash if your first symptoms were intense, started immediately and you had pain that spread to your arms, headaches and severe neck pain. If you have had whiplash before or had existing low back or neck pain, you will likely suffer longer.

After you consult with a medical professional about your particular case of whiplash, please contact our team of top personal injury attorneys for a free consultation and case evaluation to learn your legal options and rights.