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What Is Whiplash? Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

Every 10 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviews the economic impact of motor-vehicle collisions. In 2010, researchers determined the total cost of car accidents, including medical expenses, productivity losses, and societal harm, amounted to $871 billion annually. When they examine the numbers again in 2020, the figure will likely be close to—or perhaps even surpass—$1 trillion.

While the total cost of wrecks is certainly staggering, it doesn’t convey the tragedy of sustaining an injury in a sudden crash. One of the most common and debilitating car accident injuries—whiplash—costs victims nearly $3 billion per year.

Also called “neck strain,” whiplash occurs when the head jerks back and forth rapidly. It is especially common in rear-end collisions. Although not life-threatening, whiplash can be debilitating and may cause chronic pain.

If you sustained whiplash in an auto accident and you want to learn about your options for pursuing compensation, contact The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny. Since 2002, our legal team has been helping people put their lives back together after serious injuries. Call 212-421-0300 to schedule a free case evaluation with a car accident attorney in New York City.

Read on to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about whiplash:


  1. What Causes Whiplash?

When the head moves back and forth rapidly, it can strain the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck, causing whiplash. Scenarios that commonly result in neck strain include:

  • Motor-vehicle collisions;
  • Physical abuse or violent shaking;
  • Assault; and
  • Contact sports.
  1. What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash typically manifests symptoms within 24 hours of impact. Signs of the condition include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness;
  • Limited range of motion in the neck and shoulders;
  • Headaches that start at the base of the skull and radiate upward;
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms;
  • Dizziness;
  • Fatigue; and
  • Tenderness in the shoulders and upper back.
  1. What Are the Treatments for Whiplash?

In most cases, strained muscles, tendons, and ligaments will repair themselves over time; however, there are ways to facilitate the natural healing process and manage any painful symptoms in the meantime. Common treatment approaches for whiplash include rest, heat or cold application, pain medication, muscle relaxants, numbing injections, physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

Call 212-421-0300 to Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer in New York City

If you were involved in a motor vehicle collision and are now suffering from whiplash, turn to a personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny for advice. Our clients appreciate the knowledge, resources, and experience we bring to their cases, as well as our willingness to keep them informed every step of the way. Call 212-421-0300 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in New York City.

2018-09-05T08:56:24+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Blog, Car Accidents|Comments Off on What Is Whiplash? Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments