One of the many injuries commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents is whiplash. A whiplash injury, however, may also result from other incidents in which your head and neck abruptly and harshly jerk forward and backward.

WebMD.com explains that in a whiplash injury, you experience damage to the muscles or tendons in your neck that create a form of neck strain. Neck strain differs from neck sprains in which the ligaments tear.

Duration of a whiplash injury

Some people may believe that whiplash injuries heal quickly but some people struggle with whiplash symptoms for many weeks. In addition to pain and stiffness through your neck, you may even feel pain into your shoulder blades or down to your lower back. Trouble sleeping, irritability and fatigue may also develop with a whiplash injury.

Symptoms of whiplash may not always present themselves immediately after an accident, making it important for people to monitor their health carefully after any injury or event.

Treatment options for a whiplash injury

Minimizing pain is a focus of some treatments for whiplash. This may include taking pain relief medications, icing the affected area or even receiving massage therapy. Some patients may seek help via ultrasound for a whiplash injury. A neck brace may provide stability for a while but should not be used for too long as the neck muscles may weaken, opening the door for additional issues.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in West Virginia an understanding of what whiplash is and how a whiplash injury may impact a person’s life.