What Happens if You Don’t Treat Whiplash?

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury around your neck and spine that’s also called a neck sprain. If you’ve recently been in a car accident and feel stiffness in your neck, shoulders, or back, you must seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Soft tissue injuries and whiplash require time and careful treatment to heal correctly. The Barnes Firm’s top car accident lawyers in Buffalo say putting off treatment can prolong the pain and the incapacitating side effects that whiplash can cause. Failing to seek treatment can negatively impact your life in many ways that include preventing any chance of a successful injury claim for compensation. Most importantly, delaying treatment for whiplash can damage your muscles and joints and can last a lifetime.

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Risks of Untreated Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from a car accident. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that affects the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around your neck, shoulders, and back. When your head is suddenly thrown forward and back, like the cracking of a whip, whiplash typically occurs. This force of your head jerking abnormally can tear the sensitive tissues and muscles connected to your spine that can cause significant damage if left untreated.

Too often, whiplash injuries are considered minor, and many believe that with enough rest, the wound will heal itself. They end up dismissing this injury as nothing to be concerned about. However, it can cause severe, long-term complications.

When whiplash is untreated, victims often experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the neck that spreads through the upper shoulders and back
  • Pain that’s followed by stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion
  • Pain and chronic headaches where the spine meets the back of the skull
  • Humming or ringing noises in the ears
  • Dizzy spells or feeling faint when standing still

After a car accident, whiplash injuries aren’t usually felt until hours or days later because of the spike of adrenaline that your body produces from the impact. After your body relaxes, the pain of whiplash sets in. Whiplash injuries generally don’t show up on an X-Ray, CT, or MRI scan. That’s no reason to dismiss the severity of the whiplash, however. This soft tissue injury can produce painful symptoms that make simple movements feel impossible. Many doctors will prescribe medications, neck collars, physical therapy, and continuous chiropractic care for treatment.

Rear View Of Female Driver With Neck Injury Getting Out Of Car After Crash

What Are the Side Effects of Untreated Whiplash?

Whiplash and soft tissue injuries take a long time to heal. If you delay seeking treatment for your whiplash injury, you can end up prolonging your suffering. The most common side effects of untreated whiplash include:

Loss of Motion and Stiffness

If you delay seeking treatment for whiplash, eventually, you may not be able to move your neck at all without feeling intense pain. A doctor can help you learn how to increase your neck’s range of motion so your muscles and tissues can heal. Failing to practice this careful motion can result in improper muscle healing and stiffness and limit your neck’s range of motion forever.

Migraines

Prolonged neck pain can lead to intense headaches and migraines. These can last for hours or days and become a chronic condition.

Difficulties Sleeping

Pain in your neck, back, and shoulders can make sleeping at night next to impossible. Chronic pain can result in many restless nights with little to no sleep.

woman on a couch with a headache from a concussion and hand on her forehead
woman on a couch with a headache from a concussion and hand on her forehead

Migraines

Prolonged neck pain can lead to intense headaches and migraines. These can last for hours or days and become a chronic condition.

Difficulties Sleeping

Pain in your neck, back, and shoulders can make sleeping at night next to impossible. Chronic pain can result in many restless nights with little to no sleep.

Male Motorist With A Whiplash Injury after a Car Crash Getting Out Of the Vehicle before calling The Barnes Firm Injury Attorneys

Anxiety and Depression

The pain of whiplash can make everyday tasks feel impossible. That difficulty can lead to anxiety and depression, since going about tasks that you once didn’t think twice about suddenly cause debilitating pain. That anxiety and depression can snowball, causing relationship problems professionally and personally.

Dizzy Spells and Vertigo

Whiplash injuries can strike the neck synapses that connect to the brain. This impingement can cause dizzy spells that stop you in your tracks as you feel like you’re spinning. This spinning sensation is known as vertigo, and it can cause a person to fall while standing up. Vertigo can strike while you’re driving or operating machinery, which can lead to an unfortunate accident.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the persistent ringing and buzzing in the ears. Victims suffering from tinnitus often have difficulty concentrating and focusing for long periods. This condition can prevent victims from having a good night’s sleep, which can cause irritability.

Seeking Medical Treatment After a Car Accident is Important

Whether you think your injuries are severe or not after your accident, it’s imperative that you seek treatment as soon as possible. Waiting longer than 72 hours can give insurance companies reason to deny any claim for coverage that you make. Seeing a medical professional as quickly as possible will allow early diagnosis and treatment of any injury, like whiplash, that you might suffer. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you recover and avoid any long term side effects of whiplash.

Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys You Can Trust

The Barnes Firm’s team of personal injury attorneys in Buffalo are highly experienced in car accident cases involving whiplash injuries. Our proven track record of successful car accident settlements is a testament to our tirelessly advocacy and dedication to our clients. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, call The Barnes Firm to get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.

To speak with one of our attorneys about your case, schedule your free consultation by completing an online contact form, or call us today at (800) 800-0000.

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