It’s the day after your car accident. Although you felt fine yesterday, this morning your neck is stiff and painful and you are also beginning to feel pain in your shoulder. These are some of the symptoms of whiplash. It’s a soft tissue injury that affects the ligaments of the neck and may involve the nerves as well.

Whiplash can range from mild symptoms that require a few weeks of recovery to more severe cases with intense and chronic pain that persists beyond six months. For people with livelihoods requiring heavy lifting and other forms of physical work, whiplash can take a serious toll on their ability to make a living.

Whiplash is caused by sudden and violent side to side or back and forth motion. This injury commonly occurs in but is not limited to a car crash where the vehicle gets struck from behind. Here are four tips for avoiding this injury:

Adjust the Head Restraint Properly

The most common reason for whiplash is that the head restraint is positioned too low. Adjust it high enough to prevent the head from snapping backward. Keep the middle of the head restraint at the same height as the top of your ears. Look for highly rated head restraints in the front and back seats when buying a car. In addition, heavier cars don’t decelerate/accelerate as violently as lighter cars in an accident.

Avoid Being Struck by Inflating Airbags

Do this by wearing both your lap and shoulder belts. Maintain at least 10 inches of distance between yourself and the airbag in front. Failure to do this risks getting struck by the air bag while it inflates.

Do Not Over Recline Your Seat

Do not recline your seat backwards beyond 20 degrees. Keep the shoulders just behind the hips.

Seek Prompt Treatment

Seek immediate treatment when an accident jars your neck or at the first physical signs of whiplash. Delaying treatment may prolong recovery time and result in more severe and disabling pain.

If you were involved in a car accident because of another motorist’s actions, you have a right to fair compensation for the damages and injuries that you have suffered. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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