One of the most common myths about whiplash is that the pain will disappear with time, hence no need for treatment. The truth is, failure to seek immediate medical attention after suffering whiplash could worsen the condition.
In order to understand the importance of seeking medical treatment if you experience symptoms of whiplash, let's look at it from two different angles.
The Health Aspect
You should never take chances when it comes to your health. Specifically, don't underestimate an injury's severity even if it doesn't seem serious initially.
An injury as common and less serious as whiplash could quickly turn into something even more severe within a couple of days or weeks. When you suffer whiplash, you should get checked by a professional doctor immediately. This is not the time to look for DIY tips on the internet — you need to get checked by a professional.
One of the reasons whiplash symptoms don't usually show right after an accident is that the body is still in shock. And when your body is still in shock, it will have a difficult time processing pain. This explains why it is always advisable to seek medical attention as soon as you can after an injury, even if you feel okay.
Still, on matters concerning your health, a whiplash injury could be a sign of a bigger problem you may not be aware of. So instead of using an ice pack to ease the pain, you need an experienced doctor to ascertain that there's nothing more to worry about other than whiplash.
As discussed earlier, whiplash occurs when there's a direct impact involving your body and another hard object. During the impact, you may suffer internal injuries that you may not be aware of — at least for the first few days or weeks. Instead, you'll probably feel relaxed, knowing whiplash is the only injury you're concerned about.
A couple of painkillers might be good enough to temporarily contain the pain caused by whiplash, but they will not help treat the internal injuries you may have sustained. The worst thing about internal injuries is that they don't always show their symptoms immediately because they occur internally. So if whiplash is the only injury you're concerned about after an accident in the workplace, you may be in for a surprise.
It is also worth noting that internal injuries can cause internal bleeding. Now that's a reason to be concerned. When you suffer internal bleeding, the blood starts clotting, preventing the flow of oxygen into the brain. And when that happens, your brain begins to shut down slowly, eventually leading to a comma. If left unattended for a prolonged period, such injuries can lead to death.
The Legal Aspect
Now let's look at the other side of the coin — the legal aspect. Seeking medical attention after a workplace accident resulting in whiplash or any other injury is one of the best ways to confirm your injuries. Many workers don't realize that even if they fall from 20 stories and land next to their employer, their injuries may not count if they don't seek medical attention and get treated for these injuries.
Your employer or colleague witnessing the accident is just not good enough to guarantee that your worker's compensation claim will be processed. In fact, you'll be shocked to discover that your own employer will deny witnessing the accident if you fail to seek medical attention.
So many workers have lost valid claims due to legal technicalities. The last thing you want, as an injury victim, is to pay for your medical expenses out of pocket because your actions after the injury jeopardized your claim.
When you seek medical attention after the injury, your doctor will write a report documenting the kind of injuries you suffered. This medical report will provide better proof of your injuries than your colleague's testimony.