One of the more common injuries associated with car accidents is whiplash. It is possible for whiplash to be a minor injury, and it is also possible for whiplash to be life-altering.
Understanding the symptoms and causes of whiplash is paramount if you are experiencing pain after an automobile accident. According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash occurs due to rapid back and forth neck movement, much like how a whip cracks.
What causes whiplash?
In the context of automobile accidents, whiplash most commonly occurs in an individual seated in a car that gets rear-ended by another car. You are most likely to experience symptoms of whiplash within a few days of the injury, though it is possible to have symptoms immediately. Common symptoms of mild whiplash include pain in the neck, increased pain with neck movement, headaches at the base of the skull and dizziness.
Symptoms of more severe whiplash include blurred vision, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, memory problems and depression.
Should I see a doctor?
If you are experiencing neck pain after an automobile accident, it is a good idea to go see your doctor. The symptoms of whiplash are similar to symptoms of other injuries like broken bones or strained tendons. Your doctor can help you understand if whiplash is the cause of your pain.
In many cases, whiplash will heal itself with time. However, some patients experience long-term complications and pain. You are more likely to experience complications if you have had whiplash before, are older, already have neck pain due to unrelated reasons or if the automobile accident happened at a high speed.