The causes of whiplash
The most common cause of whiplash is in road traffic accidents, as a collision or sudden stop can cause the neck to jerk violently. It is possible to suffer the same injury in other accidents though, if the neck muscles are over-extended. It is estimated that over a quarter of a million claims for whiplash are made in the UK every year, and of course many more people suffer from the injury and do not claim.
What does whiplash feel like?
Most sufferers of whiplash feel sharp pain and swollenness around the neck and shoulder area. This is often coupled with a loss of movement, or soreness when turning.
Treating a whiplash injury
Medical attention should be sought for any whiplash injury, and the professional advice always followed. Most whiplash cases result in a complete recovery within months, but there are certain techniques that can be used to help and speed up recuperation.
- Painkillers and ice
To help the initial pain of whiplash two things can be done. Taking painkillers (paracetemol) and anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) – within the recommended dosage – can help alleviate and control the pain and swelling. Applying ice indirectly – using a tea towel as a barrier for example – can also help to reduce any swelling.
- Movement and exercise
Contrary to popular belief, it is not usually beneficial to keep your neck still and free from movement. Gently moving and exercising the neck muscles can help prevent stiffness and speed up recovery. This can be done by slowly moving the neck in each direction in turn. In more serious cases, physiotherapy may be needed to regain full movement.
Claiming compensation for whiplash is usually relatively straight forward. If you have suffered a whiplash injury, then the best thing to do is to seek free expert legal advice about your exact circumstances.
Disclaimer: The information on this page is intended as a guide only, and should not be used instead of professional medical advice. In no circumstances will we be held responsible for any injuries sustained by following the information outlined above.