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How serous is whiplash?

You might have recently been in a rear-end collision, or maybe you were mildly side-swiped or someone stopped suddenly in front of you. A minor fender bender does not usually cause serious injuries but now, a few days after the accident, your neck and shoulders are feeling quite sore and stiff. You realize that you have whiplash, but you are unsure if you should see a doctor. It might help you and other Californians to know the potential complications of a seemingly minor injury like whiplash.

Whiplash is often the result of a rear-end crash or other accident in which your head is snapped back and forth in a whip-like motion. Many collisions, if you see them coming, cause you to tense up in advance and that might also contribute to the stiffness of whiplash. According to Web MD, the discomfort of whiplash is usually a delayed reaction, but the pain can become unbearable.

It can put your mind at ease to know that most cases of whiplash resolve on their own without the need for extended treatment. However, some whiplash injuries stubbornly persist, resulting in ongoing pain and loss of mobility. You might need massage, physical therapy or chiropractic care to help the damaged muscles and ligaments heal. At the very least, you might benefit from prescription pain relief to get you through the worst of the pain.

It is always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor after an accident, no matter how minor. Your doctor can take an x-ray to rule out possible spinal damage and give you instructions on how to begin recovering from this very common, but often aggravating, injury.

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