You may feel fine, if a little shaken up, immediately after a minor to moderate car accident. However, a day or two later, you start to feel stiff and sore. You might even have difficulty moving your head and neck, and just getting through the day can be excruciating. Like many Michigan residents after a car crash, you may be suffering from whiplash.
Whiplash is such a common injury after car accidents that people tend to discount its potential severity. They may say you just need to rest for a few days, alternate heat and ice and take some Ibuprofen. However, there are valid reasons to see your doctor if you start to have symptoms of whiplash. In fact, it is a good idea to set up an appointment for a checkup after any car accident, whether you are experiencing pain and stiffness or not.
What is whiplash?
First, it can help to understand exactly what whiplash is. WebMD describes it as a soft tissue injury to the tendons and muscles of the neck and upper back after a sudden impact whips the head back and forth. Whiplash is often a result of motor vehicle collisions, especially rear-end accidents, and this injury often resolves on its own. However, the pain can be severe while you are recovering, which may necessitate doctor-prescribed pain medication. You may also need physical therapy or massage to help the tissues heal.
Medical exam can detect more serious injuries
It’s also a good idea to be checked for more serious injuries that you might be passing off as severe whiplash pain. For example, you may have a ligament sprain or a hairline fracture, which would require medical treatment.
You have so much to deal with during the aftermath of a car accident that seeing your doctor might be the last thing on your mind. However, seeking timely medical attention may save you from a great deal of pain and hassle down the road.