If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Georgia, you may wonder about symptoms of whiplash. This type of painful neck injury typically develops within 24 hours of a motor vehicle collision, and it can lead to sometimes-chronic stiffness, headaches and pain. If you feel symptoms of whiplash, it can be important to go to the hospital or your family doctor for a diagnosis. Common symptoms include worsening pain when you move your neck, headaches, shoulder pain, numb arms, fatigue, dizziness, inability to move your neck, blurred vision or even disturbed sleep.

Examination for Whiplash Symptoms

At the office, your physician will ask you about the symptoms that developed after the car or truck collision. The doctor will want to understand the situation to best understand the cause of your pain. During the examination, your physician may ask you to move your head, touch your neck and extend your arms so that he or she can understand how much you can move your neck, what triggers cause pain and the effects on your reflexes and arm strength.

Your doctor may also order tests to help determine the extent of your injuries. These may include:

• X-rays to identify dislocated bones, fractures or arthritis
• CT scan (computerized tomography) to highlight damage to the bones
• MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to determine soft tissue injuries to disks, ligaments or spinal cord

Treating Whiplash After a Car Accident

The doctor will typically prescribe treatment to reduce pain and restore the range of motion in a patient’s neck and shoulders. Some people may need only short-term, over-the-counter treatment, while others may require ongoing physical therapy or prescription medication. Doctors often recommend rest for 24 hours after the car crash and the use of cold or hot compresses. They may prescribe over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription drugs or muscle relaxants and injections.

Individuals who have been injured in car accidents may suffer lasting physical and psychological challenges. It is important to determine the extent of your injuries if you’ve been in such an accident. A full medical examination may help to protect your health as well as support your personal injury attorney in pursuing compensation for damages.