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Whiplash Injury – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Whiplash Injury – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Whiplash injury is among the most common injuries suffered on roadways by drivers and passengers involved in automobile accidents. Whiplash injuries are painful and traumatic, requiring treatment for up to six months or more.

The fact that whiplash injuries often do not show any initial symptoms until days or weeks after the accident occurs makes them even more severe. This is why visiting a whiplash doctor is essential as soon as you meet an accident.


What is a Whiplash Injury?

A whiplash is a form of soft-tissue injury which occurs when the head of a driver or passenger moves forward or backward in a sudden and violent movement. The rapid and robust change causes damage to the neck and spine ligaments, tendons, and surrounding tissues. Whiplash injuries happen during the contact of the vehicle and are most commonly seen in back-end or head-on collisions. Due to its internal damage, the trauma is often overlooked.

Injuries that come with a Whiplash

You may think you’re completely fine after a car accident. If you have had Whiplash, though, adrenaline and cortisol will slowly and allow you to feel the pain. Adrenaline and cortisol can mask the pain after an accident for hours or even days.

The intensity of pain to some people is quite mild, while others can feel excruciating pain that prevents them from doing the basic movements.

Some of the most common injuries experienced are:

  • Neck, shoulder and arm pain
  • Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
  • Fatigue and blur vision
  • Headache and lack of focus
  • Irritation and mood swings
  • Ringing ear and tingling arms
  • Constant backache

Importance of Whiplash Treatment 

Even if after your car accident, you are suffering from just a mild headache or moderate neck stiffness, it is essential to seek treatment from a qualified doctor for auto injury immediately. For example, what may seem like mild whiplash pain may turn into severe pain within a couple of days, so knowing the severity of your injury — and quickly treating it — will help prevent it from getting worse and harder to treat.

Based on its seriousness, recovery time from a whiplash injury varies. In just a few days, most cases can be resolved, while others may take longer. The treatment of whiplash can differ from case to case. Some may require just an ice pack – ice and anti-inflammatory medications, while others might have to wear neck braces and seek physical therapy, but you can heal from a whiplash injury with a proper treatment plan.

Facts about Whiplash Injury

Here are some events associated with a whiplash injury that you might not be aware of:

  • Being in a car is not necessary

According to Vincent Traynelis, MD, a neurosurgeon at Rush University Medical Center, the most common cause of Whiplash is front-and rear-impact car accidents, but it’s not necessary. You can get Whiplash from falling down, or from high-impact activities like snowboarding, cycling, boxing, soccer, and gymnastics.

  • Aging matters a lot 

Older people may experience more extreme whiplash than a younger person, especially those who already have neck problems such as arthritis. The mobility seems to be more constrained as people get older, muscles lose flexibility and strength, and their disks and ligaments are not as stretchy. So there’s more room for injury as their neck whips back and forth.

  • Movement is the best option 

After a whiplash injury, you might not want to step around for fear of making the pain worse. But it can cause the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and back to get rigid and tired for more than a few days to rest — and even prolong the pain. Traynelis; an expert, recommends returning to regular activity as soon as your doctor says it’s OK to keep your neck healthy and flexible. Physical therapy may also be prescribed by your doctor to help relieve symptoms and muscle recovery.

  • Whiplash is not meant to be ignored

Although neck pain is joint straight after a whiplash injury, only a few hours, days, or even weeks later, pain is experienced by several people. Despite the symptoms appearing a while, then does not indicate a more severe injury, but do not ignore it regardless of when pain begins. Mostly within a month, the suffering will lessen entirely. If it continues or deteriorates or if you experience other symptoms such as headaches, exhaustion, pain in the shoulder, blurred vision, dizziness, and concentration, sleeping problems, or swallowing problems, see your doctor for further examination.

  • Sometimes slow is also dangerous 

Yes, most car accident whiplash injuries occur at speeds up to 5 to 10 miles per hour. The extent of the harm also depends on whether you are adequately restrained, and so anyone who wears a seat belt or is locked in a children’s safety seat.

An injury that does not have to be ignored

Whiplash can affect your life much further than just pain. In the early days of the accident, you will experience a sore and stiff neck, but if left untreated, there might be consequences. If a car accident whiplash is not treated, it can get worse. It is crucial that a whiplash doctor prescribes it as soon as possible. It can help to alleviate suffering and avoid long-term issues. Your doctor will assess your injury and formulate a rehabilitation plan solely to help you heal.


Whiplash occurs from accidents that are mostly experienced in an automobile. Anyone who has ever been in a car accident should not avoid the severity and complexity that comes with Whiplash and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. From a simple icepack and anti-inflammatories to a complete checkup and neck brace, the treatment entirely depends on how complex the injury was. Regardless of the time when you start experiencing the symptoms of whiplash, rush straight to the whiplash doctor as he can evaluate the condition and lead you to the path of recovery until there is no pain left.

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