What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash After a Car Accident?

Whiplash is an unfortunate injury acquired in a car accident. Whiplash injury usually occurs when the car is hit from the rear side. However, practically speaking, it can happen in whichever direction a car is hit from. The sudden jolt upon collision of the car produces a mild to severe sprain in the neck. A whiplash injury is not relevant to the speed, size, or intensity of the collision. Sometimes, a person may get a whiplash injury due to a mild jolt, while in other cases people have escaped from getting a whiplash even in extreme accidents.

Symptoms of a whiplash after a car accident might appear right after the accident, or they may take time up to several hours or days, and sometimes, even years. If symptoms appear soon after the accident, then they are considered as a serious cause of concern.

A whiplash injury does not harm, or fracture the bones. It damages the soft tissues, tendons, and muscles of the neck, and spine area. whiplash after an accident After the human body undergoes an extreme abnormal movement of the head and neck, it involuntarily tightens its muscular system to give support to the head. To identify the injured part of your neck exactly, you must get a detailed chiropractic checkup. It is also important to note that a whiplash injury does not appear in an x-ray or a radiograph. It is only visible in CAT scans, ultrasounds etc.

The three most common symptoms of a whiplash are:

1. Pain or stiffness in the neck
2. Headache
3. Lower back pain

The source of the pain in such an injury is the neck area. Tenderness or swelling can occur in the neck because of a whiplash. Spasms frequently occur in the vertebral column, hence affecting the lower back area. Headaches sometimes occur spasmodically, and sometimes constantly. The centre of headaches keeps shifting from one point to another, usually towards the shoulder area. This headache feels like tension headaches, with severe pain behind the eyes.

Other minor symptoms are less physical in nature, like dizziness, lack of concentration or focus, nausea, tickling in the arms, hands or legs, blurred vision, difficulty in swallowing, irritability, anxiety, fatigue and pain in the jaw-line or facial area. Studies have shown that men and women show different degrees of symptoms of a whiplash. Women are more prone to complain about headache, nausea, lower back pain and concentration problems.

If the symptoms do not subside with even with proper medical care, then there are chances that these may develop into whiplash syndrome. The condition of the patient becomes complex with various psychological disorders like trauma, fear, depression, and a sense of being wronged. These factors hamper the recovery process.

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