Whiplash Injury Attorney Austin

Whiplash Injury Austin Texas

When rear-ended by another vehicle, it is common that a passenger will sustain a whiplash injury.  Whiplash is an injury caused by a severe jerk to the head, typically in a motor-vehicle accident.  The sudden momentum forward and jerk pull back can cause a serious neck strain.  Whiplash is a sort of neck and shoulder injury that can be devastating, and have long-term consequences if treatment is not sought.  Whiplash Injury Austin Texas attorneys at Joe Lopez Law can help you if you have involved in an accident.

Whiplash Injury Austin Texas

Know Symptoms of Whiplash

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms usually develop within 24 hours of the accident. Some signs of whiplash may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

In addition, some people may also experience:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

Treatments for Whiplash

Most of the time treatment for whiplash injuries is relatively basic. Often times Doctors will often prescribe over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Aspirin. Other injuries may require prescription medication and muscle relaxants like naproxen.

Physical therapy along with medication plays an important role in recovery. Also applying ice and/or heat packs to the injured area and simple exercises help build strength and flexibility in your neck. Having good posture and learning techniques that help relax your muscles from straining help in a faster recovery. Some people choose to wear foam collars to keep your neck stable. If you choose to wear a foam collar, you should not wear it longer than three hours at a time.

Additional Treatments for Whiplash

  • acupuncture
  • chiropractic care
  • massage (this may relieve some of the tension in the neck muscles)
  • electronic nerve stimulation (this gentle electric current may help reduce neck pain)

Surgical Intervention

Surgery may be appropriate in severe cases. If after conventional conservative treatment, such as massage therapy, chiropractic care, and physical therapy, doesn’t alleviate the pain, surgery may be an option. Spine surgeons will recommend the best procedure given the patient’s injury and situation. Ultimately, the decision to undergo surgery is the patient’s decision. At times we may advise a second professional opinion and highly promote family help in making the surgical decision.  What type of surgical procedure depends on what part of your spine has been injured.

Whiplash Injury Austin TexasWhiplash Injury Austin Texas

Disc Herniation Statistics

According to Panjabi, Ito, Pearson, & Ivancic (2004). Injury mechanisms of the cervical intervertebral disc during simulated whiplash. Spine, 29(11), 1217-1225.

  1. 25% of whiplash victims get herniated discs
  2. 20% of whiplash victims have herniated discs with radicular symptoms
  3. 39% of whiplash victims have degeneration 5 – 10 years post trauma
  4. 2 times the number of whiplash patients required discectomy and fusion as compared to the control group
  5. Whiplash patients require fusion 8 years earlier, on the average, than non-whiplash patients

According to Barth, Freeman, Broshek, & Varney (2001), in acceleration-deceleration accidents (whiplash), where significant spinal injuries were reported:

  1. 72% revealed single or multilevel cervical disc herniations
  2. 23% revealed lumbar or thoraco-lumbar disc herniations
  3. 18% revealed spinal fractures

Ruptured or Herniated Disc

As a result of a collision, you may have ruptured or herniated an intervertebral disc. Symptoms such as persistent arm pain, numbness, and/or weakness will exist. At times, disc removal is necessary. The Doctor removes all or part of the damaged disc in a process called a discectomy.  Recovery after a discectomy may require permanent stabilization in the area. Discectomies usually result in an unstable spine, so surgeons doing discectomies must restablize the spine.

Whiplash Injury Austin Texas

If you have sustained an injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, please feel free to contact our office at (512) 580-9962 or contact us through email.  We offer free consultations and if we can help, we will.