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How Quickly Does Whiplash Set In?

If you have been involved in a car crash, chances are that you have, or will, suffer from whiplash. The onset of whiplash is usually not immediate and may take anywhere from hours to days to feel the effects. 

Whiplash is usually caused by a sudden back-and-forth, jerking movement of the neck. Rear-end car collisions are a leading cause of whiplash, but it can also result from slips and falls, or other accidents. While most people get better within a few weeks of treatment, whiplash may last from anywhere to 2 to 4 months, or longer depending on the severity of the force. 

Whiplash symptoms commonly include neck pain and stiffness made worse by neck movement, tenderness or pain in the shoulders or upper arms, tingling or numbness in the arms, fatigue, and dizziness and headaches. Others also may experience sleep problems, irritability, ringing of the ears, memory problems, depression, and blurred vision. 

Factors that determine how quickly whiplash sets in can include older age, having whip lash before, or by already existing back pain. A high-speed crash can also cause whiplash to show up sooner than usual. However, even a car crash at a lower speed may be enough to cause whiplash. Recognizing the onset of whiplash is important so that you can see a doctor before it gets worse. 

Your doctor will start with a physical exam, and they may order x-rays, an MRI or CT scan to determine the severity of injury. Treatments may include over-the-counter medicine and visits to a chiropractor or pain management specialist. In worse cases involving chronic pain, spinal injections may be performed to provide more long-term relief.

In any event, it is important to get treatment right away and to attend your appointments frequently. If you have been hurt in a car crash caused by another, you may want to consult an attorney so that you can be compensated for your bills, and your pain and suffering. Having medical records available will help your attorney make the strongest case possible.

If you believe that you have whiplash, and you believe another is at-fault, do not hesitate to contact us for a free evaluation.