Whiplash is one of the most common injuries after a car accident; all it takes is a blunt force to the head and neck areas. The abrupt impact and twisting of a car during an accident is enough force to damage the tendons and nerves that run down the neck. Most people come away with short-term whiplash pain that goes away within a few weeks. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Some people experience chronic whiplash pain that interferes with work and social relationships. Talk to an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer if the accident was caused by someone else.
What is Chronic Whiplash Pain?
42% of people experience whiplash pain that lasts longer than three weeks. Chronic whiplash describes a condition of neck pain that lasts several years. Many people also tend to suffer symptoms of:
- Visual or auditory disturbances
- Problems in cognition that affect concentration and memory
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep problems that can develop into insomnia
The pain can often spread from the neck to the head. Chronic headaches are a common complaint. Pain is what tends to cause sleep problems because of the discomfort this feeling creates. Insomnia and related sleep problems are associated with mental fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Fatigue, depression, and anxiety can greatly impair daily activities like work and maintaining social relationships. This can lead to lost wages and a loss of enjoyment of life.
Chronic whiplash is an often overlooked medical condition and tends to be misdiagnosed by doctors. However, many studies have revealed precursors to the development of chronic whiplash pain like PTSD, high perception of pain, and a history of neck pain. It is suspected that chronic neck pain is caused by cervical zygapophyseal joint pain. Damage to this same area is thought to trigger pain receptor firing.
How Chronic Whiplash is Managed
With the ambiguities that surround chronic pain conditions, many people may wonder how chronic whiplash pain can be treated. First, the condition needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. This may be done with a physical examination or a series of imaging tests that include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. These tests can reveal the tissue and nerve damage that is prevalent in whiplash.
Treatment for chronic whiplash pain can involve heat or cold pads at first, but can escalate to prescription-strength pain killers and muscle relaxants. The issue for many people is that some of these medications can cause drowsiness. For serious cases, an injection of numbing medicine can be administered to painful muscle areas.
Exercise and physical therapy are also used in an attempt to strengthen movement in the neck and repair muscles.
Car Accident Attorney in Oklahoma
If you are struggling with whiplash pain after a car accident caused by a negligent driver, try consulting with an Oklahoma car accident lawyer. You may be eligible to receive compensation that can cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Contact the Law Firm of Griffin Reynolds today at (405) 721-9500 for a free consultation. Our goal is to help you earn the compensation you need to recover financially.