Whiplash is a common injury stemming from Oklahoma motor vehicle accidents. It is generally understood as an injury to the neck area, but the truth is it can also extend to the shoulders, the head, or even the upper torso when muscles are pulled violently. The injuries can be the result of being held in place by a seat belt with the head making a whipping motion, or it can be the result of a side impact that slings the head sideways. The type of collision often controls the extent and type of whiplash injury, and finding medical evidence can involve significant internal body testing through X-rays and other imaging equipment.
Neck and head extension injury
Whiplash injuries that are centered in the neck and extend upwards can be tested most effectively with X-rays. The images can be targeted for the areas of pain or immobility, as the ability to turn the head is often compromised with whiplash resulting from motor vehicle crashes. CAT scans and cranial MRI testing can also be used when serious issues are symptomatic in the cranial area with respect to torn muscles and ligaments.
Shoulder and upper torso injury
Whiplash can also impact the area beneath the neck, including pulled shoulder muscles and tendons, pulled chest muscles, and clavicle tissue tears. These problems typically are a component of more serious whiplash cases, and injuries above the neck are often still produced. MRI and X-ray images can also be useful in these cases, but the limited use of extremities can be an indication of deeper injury and testimony from the injured party can be used when the case goes to court.
Never assume that a whiplash injury is something that will go away quickly. A long duration is common for even a seemingly mild case of whiplash, and comprehensive testing of the surrounding area of the neck can be necessary for a proper diagnosis and prognosis.