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Why are car accidents such a pain in the neck?

A lot of aches and pains usually become evident in the days following a car accident. In some cases, the aches and pains that occur in the days after the accident might seem to settle in your neck. If that is the case, you might be suffering from whiplash, which is an accident commonly associated with car crashes.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash, which is also known as a cervical strain or cervical sprain, is an injury to the soft tissues in the neck. It is caused by the unexpected impact of the crash making your head snap forward and backward in a jolting manner. The ligaments, muscles and vertebrae can all be affected by whiplash.

What symptoms are associated with whiplash?

You might start to feel a tightness or stiffness in your neck within the first few days after the accident. This might be accompanied by a dull, aching pain in your neck and diminished range of motion. Headaches, dizziness and back pain are common. You might also suffer from balance issues, difficulty concentrating and memory troubles.

Do I need medical care for whiplash?

It is advisable to seek medical care if you are suffering from neck pain after a car accident. The medical professional can ensure that you haven't seriously damaged your neck. They can also make an official diagnosis and establish a treatment plan for your whiplash. If whiplash isn't treated properly, you might suffer from chronic pain and future neck or back issues.

If you have been injured in a car accident, medical care should be your top priority. Once you have the medical care you need, your thoughts might turn to seeking compensation. Understanding the process for seeking compensation can help you when you are ready to get the process started.

Source: FindLaw, "Whiplash-Related Injuries," accessed July 16, 2015

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