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Whiplash diagnosis: things you need to know

Do you have reason to believe you've suffered whiplash in a motor vehicle accident?

If you find yourself in this position, it's imperative to understand that you may be dealing with a serious injury. Neglecting to treat it as such could cause more pain and discomfort down the road, and that's not a risk you should be willing to take.

By receiving medical treatment after an accident, you can better understand your injuries, including whether or not whiplash is something for which you need to be treated.

First, your medical team will complete a basic examination. During the exam, you can expect the following things to be checked:

-- Range of motion

-- The pain and discomfort experienced when you move

-- Strength and reflexes in your limbs

-- Any tenderness in the neck, back or shoulders

Along with the medical examination, there are several imaging tests a doctor can use to rule out other conditions that could be causing your pain. These include MRIs, CT scans and x-rays.

Although you may think that you can treat whiplash on your own — especially if the symptoms don't yet appear to be very serious — this can wind up being a mistake.

Whiplash can be a serious injury that can cause pain and discomfort well into the future. Not to mention that it can lead to future medical exams and treatment.

Due to the seriousness of whiplash, you should be treated immediately following an accident. Along with this, don't wait to learn more about your legal rights. You may be able to receive compensation to help pay for current and future medical bills.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Tests and diagnosis," accessed Jan. 05, 2017

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