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Diagnosing and treating whiplash after a car accident

When individuals in Iowa are involved in a car accident, they have many concerns. While it is obvious that the collision could have resulted in damages to the vehicles, there are more concerning issues such as the health of an accident victim. Whether it was a major collision or a minor collision, a driver or a passenger could suffer injuries. Even in cases when a victim does not immediately note a major medical problem, it is important to rule out a minor or major medical issue that could present itself later on.

While it is considered a minor injury, whiplash is frequently occurring injury in car accidents. While this neck injury is categorized as minor, failing to diagnose it and treat it in a timely manner could lead to prolonged issues. Moreover, it could lead to temporary and even partial disabilities.

What causes whiplash? The sudden acceleration or deceleration often occurring in an automobile collision could lead to an abrupt jerking motion of the head forward and backward. This could lead to a strain on the neck and the spine. Common symptoms of this injury include pain and stiffness of the neck, headaches, pain in the shoulders and lower back, numbness in the arms or hands, dizziness, fatigue, sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating or remembering.

Because x-rays cannot detect and diagnose whiplash, CT scans or MRIs are used to detect whiplash on a car accident victim. When diagnosis is made, those suffering whiplash should seek treatment. While there is no proven or most effective treatment plan for whiplash, it is important that accident victims seek medical attention to minimize the effects of this injury and reduce the impacts it could have on their life.

Whiplash could impact the victim's ability to work and be active. In addition, it could lead to multiple medical expenses related to the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of the injury. If another party is responsible for the car crash, an injured party could pursue a civil action in order to seek compensation to cover these medical bills and other related damages and losses.

Source: WebMD "Whiplash," accessed Feb. 16, 2015

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