The idea that you could be left with permanent disabilities from a road traffic accident isn’t new; it’s unfortunate, but it happens all the time. However, many people aren’t aware of the fact that whiplash injury, when left untreated or when not properly treated, can have long-lasting and even permanent effects.
The invisible injury
Most people don’t see whiplash injury as a big deal – sure, you may have a stiff neck for a few days or at most a few weeks, they think, but then once the pain fades they simply consider themselves healed. Unfortunately that’s not necessarily the case, especially when it comes to soft tissue injuries such as whiplash; even though your immediate symptoms of pain, swelling, and inflammation have subsided, there could be quite serious soft tissue damage that could lead to long-lasting problems.
One of these problems is osteoarthritis, which is caused by over-stretched tendons and ligaments. Without the bones of your neck being properly supported by these soft tissues, they can become malpositioned, leading to neck pain and headaches until the issue is corrected through the ministrations of an osteopath, and medications can help to manage the symptoms, but there are few things that can remedy soft tissue damage in and of itself besides physiotherapy.
Your mileage may vary
Before you begin worrying, keep one thing in mind: many whiplash injuries are very minor indeed, which reduces the likelihood of developing permanent symptoms. You can be back to full health within weeks of the incident that caused a minor neck injury.
Even in minor to moderate cases of whiplash-related neck injury, you may need to seek regular medical care for as long as one to two years after your accident before you could be given a clean bill of health, as soft tissue damage is notoriously sluggish when it comes to healing. Permanent damage is indeed quite uncommon except in cases where you refuse to follow your doctor’s recommendations or in cases of extremely severe injury – it’s only then that you run the risk of permanent whiplash symptoms.
Don’t leave anything to chance
If you’ve been in an accident and you’ve got stiffness or pain in your neck accompanied by other symptoms such as dizziness, persistent headaches, numbness in your extremities, or that ‘pins-and-needles’ feeling in your arms or fingers, don’t take chances with your health. Go to your GP immediately and have him or her evaluate you for the possibility of whiplash injury; if you’re told that you are suffering from whiplash, follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter, no matter how painful or inconvenient it may be, as not doing so could lead to being stuck with permanent symptoms!
Even if you are injured so severely that you do end up with long-lasting or permanent symptoms, don’t feel like nothing can be done in order to help you. If you’re in so much pain that you find it hard to do everyday tasks or even go to work, you could be entitled to make an accident claim against the driver that was responsible for the accident.
Find yourself an experienced, professional personal injury solicitor with a good track record when it comes to making whiplash injury claims against car insurance companies. It could lead to a compensation payment that may not help to heal your injuries, but it will enable you to not have to worry about bills and an inability to pay them as you go through rounds of physiotherapy!