Whiplash: 4 Signs You May Have It after a Car Crash

Car accident injuries are not always visible as wounds or broken bones. Sometimes, you may only feel a tightening or experience reduced neck and upper body motion afterward, as in the case of whiplash. Irrespective of your feelings, ensure you get auto accident injury treatment in Lehigh Acres, Florida.

Typically, in motor vehicle collisions, the resulting force can cause your neck to overextend in multiple directions. When this happens, you can experience whiplash.

Most people hardly understand this type of injury, so it’s common to ignore or improperly treat its symptoms. This article explains whiplash and four significant signs of this condition.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of neck injury where you experience strain in the soft tissues of your neck. Other common names for this condition are neck sprain or neck strain.

The most common situation where you can sustain a whiplash injury is an automobile accident, especially a rear-end collision. This auto accident occurs when a fast-moving vehicle forcefully hits another car in front. This rear-end collision shoves the driver’s body forward while keeping the head back for a second.

When this happens, the neck bends forcibly forward and then backward, or the other way. The result is stretching or tearing ligaments, muscles, discs, and tendons in and around the neck.

Even though it’s relatively mild compared to other accident injuries, whiplash can cause severe pain. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications.

Common Causes of Whiplash

Car accidents are a significant cause of this injury. However, whiplash is not only common in rear-end collisions. So, any event that causes your neck to bend forcibly forward or backward can cause whiplash.

Other situations that can lead to a person sustaining whiplash include:

  • High-velocity collisions in contact sports such as football and boxing
  • Falls or collisions during activities like cycling or horseback riding
  • Physical abuse or assault, such as being shaken or struck
  • Any fall where the head or neck jerks violently
  • Other high-impact events like roller coaster rides or diving

4 Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash is an actual medical condition that comes with real body symptoms. However, how you feel, especially after your accident, depends on the affected neck tissues or the severity of your injury.

Also, it’s common to notice symptoms at varying times, either at the point of the collision or several hours or days later. Still, if you notice any of the following signs, you may suffer from whiplash.

  • Body Pain

There are two significant areas where whiplash causes body pain; the neck and shoulders.

Ligaments and muscles in the neck overstretching or tearing can lead to pain in varying degrees. Another effect of this injury is transferring pain to nearby areas such as the shoulder and upper back.

Whether you feel pain immediately or after a few hours or days, it’s the most common way to check for whiplash. This pain may be noticeable when you rock your head sideways or try to look back over your shoulder.

In the long term, this pain can move downwards into your arms or lower back. So, it’s best to prioritize early treatment.

  • Headache

When the soft tissues in the neck overextend, they may tear. This damage can cause stress on the cervical spine, a typical effect in nerve and joint injuries.

In addition to body pain, this body stress often leads to tension headaches. Also, you may feel a headache starting at the base of your skull and moving towards your forehead.

  • Reduced Range of Motion

Another common sign of whiplash is when you have difficulty moving your neck. Since you’ll be experiencing pain in your neck and shoulders, it can prevent you from moving those body parts.

Along with this decreased range of motion, you may experience stiffness in the neck due to tightened muscles. As a result, it becomes difficult to turn or twist slightly. Even having unstable neck movement or difficulty controlling your neck may indicate that you suffer from whiplash.

  • Tingling, Weakness, or Numbness

The neck houses some delicate nerves passing through the spinal cord. When a whiplash injury occurs, a possible effect is compression or inflammation of one or some of the spinal nerve roots.

That’s why you may feel pins and needles all over your body after an auto accident. In addition, whiplash causes weakness or numbness in the body. It often starts at the neck and shoulders and radiates downwards to the arms and lower body parts.

Other signs you can look out for:

  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Inability to focus, blurred vision, or visual disturbance
  • Muscle spasms
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing food and talking
  • Psychosocial symptoms like depression, frustration, insomnia, and anxiety

Mistakes to Avoid When Treating Whiplash

The good news is that whiplash itself is not a life-threatening injury. But, the wrong actions in treatment can aggravate the injury.

Using a neck brace or collar may be harmful to you. Even though it seems to add support, long-term use may weaken your neck muscles. Also, resting your neck for extended periods will not alleviate the pain or stiffness from whiplash.

Your accident may not likely lead to abnormal spine alignment. So, immobilizing your neck instead of performing early range of motion exercises can slow your healing process.

Recovering from a whiplash injury may cause a bit of partial disability. Still, a lack of physical therapy in treating whiplash can lead to chronic symptoms. A chiropractor can help you get the proper auto accident treatment in Lehigh Acres, Florida.

How Chiropractic Care Helps When You Have Whiplash

Getting medical care after an automobile accident is vital. Still, scans may not indicate whether you have whiplash because this injury affects soft tissues in the body.

A chiropractor, or Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), specializes in the musculoskeletal system. Thus, they can diagnose and treat injuries affecting the body’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Chiropractic care is essential for two reasons:

  • It alleviates pain and stiffness in the neck tissues
  • Chiropractors employ procedures to heal damage to ligaments, muscles, and tendons

At Specific Care Chiropractors, we provide treatment to help you recover your health. So, our treatment options can guarantee better recovery than buying cervical collars or immobilizing your neck.

Get Auto Accident Injury Treatment in Lehigh Acres From Specific Care Chiropractors

Whiplash may not be life-threatening. But, without proper medical care and treatment, you risk developing more severe associated conditions or living with chronic pain and discomfort.

Our DCs at Specific Care Chiropractors can advise you on the best treatment process depending on the severity of your whiplash injury. We aim to provide you with the best possible care. Call us at (239) 932-5314 to schedule an appointment at the best injury treatment center in Lehigh Acres today.