Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from a car accident. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that affects the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around your neck, shoulders, and back. When your head is suddenly thrown forward and back, like the cracking of a whip, whiplash typically occurs. This force of your head jerking abnormally can tear the sensitive tissues and muscles connected to your spine that can cause significant damage if left untreated.
Too often, whiplash injuries are considered minor, and many believe that with enough rest, the wound will heal itself. They end up dismissing this injury as nothing to be concerned about. However, it can cause severe, long-term complications.
When whiplash is untreated, victims often experience the following symptoms:
- Pain in the neck that spreads through the upper shoulders and back
- Pain that’s followed by stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion
- Pain and chronic headaches where the spine meets the back of the skull
- Humming or ringing noises in the ears
- Dizzy spells or feeling faint when standing still
After a car accident, whiplash injuries aren’t usually felt until hours or days later because of the spike of adrenaline that your body produces from the impact. After your body relaxes, the pain of whiplash sets in. Whiplash injuries generally don’t show up on an X-Ray, CT, or MRI scan. That’s no reason to dismiss the severity of the whiplash, however. This soft tissue injury can produce painful symptoms that make simple movements feel impossible. Many doctors will prescribe medications, neck collars, physical therapy, and continuous chiropractic care for treatment.