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Chronic pain after a car accident takes its toll

Chronic pain has many causes. For example, arthritis and cancer can cause it. So can nerve damage, stomach ulcers and a host of other conditions. One cause you may not think about, though, are car accidents in the form of whiplash.

This type of chronic pain can be especially devastating for some people because their whiplash may have been mild at first. They might even have skipped a doctor's visit in favor of treating the whiplash at home. However, it never went away, and years after a car accident, walking, bending and other physical movements may be more difficult than ever.

What the numbers say

Research indicates that as many as 25 percent of people with whiplash end up with chronic pain. So, if you have been in a recent car accident and are showing symptoms of whiplash, the odds are okay that you will fully recover, but they are not entirely optimistic. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as you can so that a doctor can diagnose your whiplash and develop a treatment plan.

What chronic pain may lead to

When whiplash results in chronic pain, the toll can be devastating, especially if the pain is severe. Not only does it impact you physically, but it also careens into other aspects of your life. Medical tests may show nothing wrong, and this may make you feel like you are delusional. You know you are not! Moreover, you may go out less and be unable to take part in activities that used to give you tremendous amounts of pleasure. Some people with disorders from whiplash even suffer PTSD.

The toll can be financial too. For instance, the people who do not go to a doctor about their neck pain may not have as strong a case for compensation after they realize their whiplash is persisting and they need financial help for medical bills and emotional suffering.

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