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Soft Tissue InjuriesDealing with Whiplash & Soft Tissue Injuries

January 24, 20240

Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries can cause significant pain and disruption to one’s daily life. These types of injuries often occur during auto accidents when the head and neck are suddenly jerked back and forth. Understanding what causes whiplash and how to properly deal with it can help accident victims find relief.

What Exactly Is Whiplash?

Whiplash refers to a neck injury caused by the head suddenly moving backward and then forward in a quick, whip-like motion. This often occurs during a rear-end collision, but can also happen in sports like football, boxing, or other situations where the neck and head are forcefully snapped. The abrupt movement stretches and tears muscles, tendons, and ligaments beyond their normal range.

Whiplash injuries are considered a type of soft tissue injury because while bones may remain intact, the soft tissues of the neck get damaged. Symptoms emerge because the muscles, tendons, and ligaments become inflamed from the tears. Soft tissue around the nerves and vertebral joints swell as well, putting pressure on nerves and restricting joint mobility.

Common Whiplash Symptoms

Symptoms of whiplash and other neck soft tissue injuries typically appear within 24 hours of the initial injury. Common whiplash symptoms include:

  • Neck pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder and arm pain or numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision or ringing in the ears
  • Jaw pain

The type and severity of symptoms can vary considerably depending on the exact circumstances of the accident and specific structures damaged. Symptoms often start relatively mild but increase over the first couple of days post-injury as inflammation in the area grows.

Seeking Prompt Medical Attention

Anyone involved in an auto accident resulting in neck pain should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible after the incident. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the chances of making a full recovery from a whiplash or neck strain injury.


During the initial doctor visit, the physician will assess symptoms, order tests if needed, and determine a diagnosis. Common tests include X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to check for bone fractures, herniated discs, nerve impingements, or other complicating issues.

Doctors can provide prescription medications to help alleviate swelling and pain in the first days after injury. They may also recommend wearing a soft neck brace or collar to immobilize the area for the first week, using ice packs to control inflammation, avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms, and potentially starting physical therapy sessions.

Managing Whiplash Symptoms Long-Term

Fortunately, the majority of whiplash injuries heal within 3 months with proper rest and treatment. But symptoms can linger longer, especially if the original injury isn’t properly addressed. Lingering stiffness, headaches, and pain invading daily life signal that it is time to revisit the doctor and come up with a treatment plan.

Doctors may order additional tests to make sure nothing new is going on. Often they will create or alter a treatment plan, which may include medications for pain and swelling, massage therapy, ultrasound treatment, laser therapy, injections, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, posture training, and certain exercises.

Physical therapy plays a pivotal role in treating long-term whiplash and soft tissue symptoms. Custom-tailored exercise programs help:

  • Increase strength, mobility, and flexibility of the neck and shoulders
  • Improve balance, coordination and proprioception
  • Promote proper posture and movement patterns
  • Decrease pain through release techniques like heat, ice, stimulation

And potentially reduce the risk of future injury through appropriate stretches and muscle strengthening. Working closely with a physical therapist can bring significant relief as the body heals.

Considerations for Legal Action

Victims suffering from persistent pain, debilitating headaches, nerve damage, or other long-term effects of a neck injury caused in an auto accident should consider seeking legal consultation from a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer can determine if you have grounds for a legal claim against negligent drivers and help you receive fair compensation for accident-related damages.

Whiplash and other soft tissue neck injuries can heal slowly. However, understanding common symptoms, promptly seeking medical care, adhering to treatment plans, and staying the course with physical therapy can all help restore strength, mobility, and comfort levels over time. Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer from Payam law if auto accident injuries continue hampering your normal life activities. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

You can visit our offices at the following locations:

  • Beverly Hills – 8383 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 830, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
  • Los Angeles – 212 East Pico Blvd, Suite #4, Los Angeles, CA 90015
  • Tulare – 100 E. Cross, Suite #122, Tulare, CA 93274
  • Hanford – 13400 Hanford Armona Rd, Suite #B

Call now for a free consultation on (877) 729-2652 or (323) 782-9927.


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