Whiplash associated disorder (WAD) is a condition that often is not taken seriously enough by the public. Yet victims deal with serious pain and physical limitations.
Whiplash is not a technical medical term. Medically, it is known as cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome (CADS). This refers to a neck strain or sprain resulting from neck hyperextension after an accident, and may also involve cervical disks and nerves as well as muscles and ligaments. It received the name “whiplash” because the victim’s head and neck jerks violently backward and then forward, much like the cracking of a whip.
Whiplash is a common personal injury in auto accidents, but can also result from falls, sports injuries, and any time the neck is suddenly hyperextended, such as occurs on roller coasters and similar amusement park rides. Anyone who has had a prior neck injury is at greater risk of experiencing whiplash when the head and neck move suddenly and hard.
Symptoms of Whiplash Associated Disorder
Whiplash occurs most often when one vehicle, usually traveling at low speed, rear-ends another. The impact causes the driver and/or passengers in the front seat of the struck vehicle to experience this rapid back-and-forth head and neck movement. The vehicles may suffer only minor damage, but for the occupants of the stricken auto, their damage has just begun.
Often, WAD symptoms do not appear until a day or so after the accident, so it is crucial that car accident victims visit a doctor immediately, even if they think they emerged from the collision unharmed. Symptoms of WAD may include:
- Neck stiffness
- Jaw pain
- Blurry vision
Most whiplash patients recover within several weeks with conservative treatment, such as massage, neck exercises, hot and cold therapy, application of over-the-counter pain relievers such as naproxen or ibuprofen, or the short-term use of prescription muscle relaxants. Some WAD patients may benefit from chiropractic care.
For a percentage of people, however, WAD lasts much longer, and may prevent them from driving, working, and engaging in normal activities. In some instances, it may become a chronic condition.
When whiplash becomes chronic, patients may require nerve block injections to relieve pain for several weeks or months. In some cases, the WAD patient must undergo cervical disc surgery in the hope of obtaining permanent pain relief.
These treatments, even with conservative therapy, can run up considerable medical expenses. The victim may have to take time off work to recuperate. Depending on the nature of their employment, they may find themselves unable to perform all their required tasks when they are on the job.
The accident may also have caused significant damage to their vehicle, resulting in a lack of transportation or the need to obtain another car as soon as possible.
These types of stresses only exacerbate WAD for patients.
Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Victims of Whiplash Associative Disorder
If you or a loved has been injured in a car accident and suffered from whiplash or WAD, you need the services of the experienced Chester County Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. To schedule a free consultation, call our offices at 215-569-8488 or contact us online.