Whiplash is an injury caused by a rapid movement of the neck in a nodding motion. This is usually caused by a rear-end car collision but can be caused by physical abuse, or a sports-related injury. Whiplash is difficult to diagnose through medical scans because it usually involves damage to the smaller structures of the neck like nerves, ligaments, and muscles that don’t always appear in scans. Due to this, taking note of symptoms is usually the best way to diagnose. If you’re not sure if you have whiplash, see if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Neck pain can be felt immediately upon the aggravating incident, but this isn’t always the case. Some symptoms can take days to develop and pain is no exception. If you are experiencing pain in your shoulders or arms, you should seek medical help as this could be a sign that something more serious could be happening.
2 Stiffness and Decreased Range of Motion
Neck stiffness is a very common symptom of whiplash. Especially if you work at a desk for much of the day, your neck may already be stiff and a rear-end collision could aggravate that. You may want to stretch your neck by rotating it as far as you can without causing pain. This can help regain range of motion faster.
Often, a headache can develop in the morning following the aggravating incident. The headache could be felt towards the back of the head, all over the head, or behind the eyes. Whiplash can cause chronic headaches as well. Anti-inflammatories and rest can help manage pain.
4. Memory Problems
A quick jolt to the neck can affect the brain. Some symptoms of whiplash can overlap with the symptoms of concussions. Headaches were one example, memory issues are another. This does not have to be limited to the events directly surrounding the inciting incident. Memory problems can affect whiplash sufferers for some time after the incident.
5. Fatigue and Anxiety
Some symptoms can be linked to general well-being rather than one specific incident. You may feel groggy and tired. Anxiety and other mental health problems like post-traumatic stress and depression can manifest, especially after a violent car accident that could cause whiplash.
In closing, take care of your health and well-being. If you are noticing any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from whiplash and you may need medical attention. Thankfully, most people with whiplash recover within a few weeks as symptoms subside.