What are the After Effects of Whiplash?

Many people experience whiplash at some time in their lives.  This type of injury most commonly occurs as a result of car accidents, sports injuries or other impact injuries. Whiplash can be very severe and can even contribute to ongoing problems.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when your head suffers a trauma or impact that causes it to snap sharply backwards and forwards. On average, a human head weighs around 10lbs, so it’s easy to see how easily head trauma can damage the neck.

How does Whiplash affect your Brain?

Having your head violently shaken can cause severe whiplash.  Headaches and neck pain are common after effects of many whiplash cases, but severe cases of whiplash can cause Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI).  Symptoms which imply that MTBI is present include:

  • Confusion
  • Erratic Sleep Patterns
  • Inability to focus attention
  • Memory lapses
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritability, anxiety or mood swings

 The brain trauma is caused by the brain impacting with the inside of the skull during the accident.  The inside of the skull is not smooth but has ridges, shelves and bony lumps on its inner surface. The cranial nerves can also be damaged, sheared or even severed completely depending on the severity of the whiplash. 

There are also certain muscles and joints around the back of the neck which provide the brain with vital information relating to our sense of balance.  Without this information, the brain has no way of regulating our equilibrium or keeping us steady on our feet.  When our sense of equilibrium is thrown out, our brain systems can begin to degrade.

How is Whiplash Treated?

There are very obvious physical symptoms of whiplash which must be treated following diagnosis. These symptoms may include muscle pain, muscle spasm and possibly loss of movement.  Physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment can successfully address the physical issues associated with whiplash. However, there are other less obvious symptoms which can occur after whiplash. 

Sometimes there are neurological, cognitive and emotional after-effects of whiplash which also require treatment. If you have experienced whiplash, you may wish to discuss the following tests and assessments with your physician or health care professional to ensure that you are addressing all aspects of your symptoms.

  • Eye movement test with VNG (videonystagmography)
  • Posturography, to test balance
  • Full body neurological evaluation
  • Cognitive tests
  • Quantitative EEG
  • Psychological Evaluation

 Any and all symptoms arising from whiplash should be taken seriously.  It’s possible that some symptoms may remain latent for several weeks after the accident, which is why ongoing medical treatment and observation is necessary.

If you or a loved one are affected by whiplash, monitor your pain and other symptoms closely.  If you show any of the symptoms associated with mild traumatic brain injury, you should seek immediate medical attention.  Time is an important factor when it comes to brain injuries and the sooner they are treated, the better the chances of recovery.

Make a Whiplash Claim

If you have suffered whiplash or any other personal injury following a road traffic accident that wasn't your fault, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. For more information about how Cute Injury can help, get in touch.

CALL US FREE ON 08000 10 60 66 or use our CLAIM CALCULATOR

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