In simple terms, whiplash is an injury that results from the head moving back and forth in a rapid, forceful manner, causing the neck to stretch past its normal range of motion. This is a common occurrence for those who are involved in car accidents due to the sudden impact of the collision. While many may believe whiplash injury only happens to those who have been in severe accidents, passengers still have the chance of suffering from this condition even if the accident is minor.
Symptoms of a whiplash injury can often be delayed hours or days, which is why it is always important to seek professional medical attention following any accident. Read to discover 5 common signs of whiplash injury that reveal it may be time to make a visit to your doctor.
While neck pain and stiffness can occur anytime, they are also common symptoms of whiplash that may appear evident after being involved in an auto accident. Oftentimes people who have been in accidents will experience hypertension in their neck causing muscles and ligaments to become strained. When the neck endures the forceful impact of a car collision, it can cause trauma to the vertebrae which impact the neck’s strength and flexibility. This sort of trauma will often cause misalignment or fractures to the vertebrae which will lead to sharp pain in your neck. It’s possible and common for neck pain to occur several hours or even days after the incident has occurred.
Those who have gotten whiplash following an accident may also experience tingling and numbness in their arms and fingers. Whiplash can often cause pinched nerves or other types of damage to the neck due to sudden impact, leading to numbness and pins and needles feeling from the shoulder all the way down to the hands. It’s extremely important to see a doctor if these types of symptoms occur because they may lead to more serious complications down the road if left untreated.
Being involved in a car accident can cause both physical and mental exhaustion for victims. People may notice that they have trouble falling asleep or staying focused, which are both common issues affiliated with whiplash. Those who may be experiencing this type of restlessness, or are having trouble functioning normally following an accident are strongly encouraged to see a medical professional begin receiving proper treatment for injuries.
The majority of car accident victims who have whiplash injuries will most likely experience recurring headaches. Due to the forceful and sudden back and forth motion of whiplash, there is a high potential for nerve damage in the brainstem and spinal cord. Oftentimes, these pains will occur in the back of the head. While headaches may be common for some people, the pain of a whiplash headache will undoubtedly be distinguishable from an everyday headache. The symptoms of a whiplash headache may occur right away, but also may be delayed for hours or days after the accident.
There are joints located in the jawbone that connect to the skull which gives people the ability to open and close their mouths. When the rapid motion of whiplash occurs, this area may experience an intense amount of pressure, causing the soft tissue in the jaw to expand. This type of injury is known to make everyday activities like eating and talking much more difficult and painful.
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