A whiplash injury often occurs in low impact, minor auto accidents. They typically happen when a victim’s vehicle is struck from behind by another vehicle in a rear-end collision. Even though the traffic accidentmay have been minor, whiplash injuries can have devastating and lasting effects for months, years and even for a lifetime, depending on the severity of the injury. An estimated one million Americans suffer from a whiplash injury in a traffic accident each year. Treatments for their whiplash injuries cost nearly $30 billion annually.
A whiplash injury encompasses a wide range of neck and upper spine injuries caused by rapid hyper-extension and hyper-flexion of the neck muscles, causing injuries. While the majority of whiplash victims do recover from the severe neck pain involved with such an injury after a few weeks, one in five injured people take a year or longer to recover from whiplash. Symptoms mostly involve neck pain, but the pain can spread out to the back, shoulder and back of the head. Whiplash can give you a stiff neck, weakness and numbness in your arms and shoulders. You might feel dizzy, suffer from bad headaches and have muscle spasms. It can sometimes takes days before you’ll realize that you have whiplash. Whiplash can become so serious that it can lead to depression, fatigue, sleeping problems and memory loss.