Know the symptoms and long-term complications of whiplash

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Even though whiplash is one of the most common injuries associated with car accidents, not everyone is entirely sure what it is. 

Understanding how a car accident can cause whiplash and recognizing the symptoms can help assure that you receive medical treatment to avoid long-term physical problems.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by a sudden, forceful back-and-forth neck movement. This sudden movement strains your neck and spine and damages bone, muscle, ligaments and nerves.

The symptoms of whiplash may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue

In some cases, the symptoms don’t appear immediately, and it may be a few days before a person realizes they are injured.

In addition to the symptoms listed above, if left untreated, whiplash can also lead to:

  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Vertebrae misalignment
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Chronic pain and migraines

It’s crucial that you seek medical treatment immediately if you have been in a car accident. A healthcare provider will conduct a physical exam to evaluate the range of motion in your neck and shoulders and find areas that are painful to touch. The doctor will create a treatment plan based on your symptoms, but it typically includes a combination of rest, pain management and physical therapy.

Recovery time also depends on the severity of your injury but could take anywhere from a few days to several months. If your whiplash injury requires time away from work, you may be able to receive compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and more.