It is not uncommon to notice a pain in your neck following a car accident. While you may want to wait and see if the pain will simply go away, you could be doing more harm than good by not seeing a doctor immediately. It is important to receive a diagnosis and treatment for whiplash as soon as possible to mitigate further damage.

Keep reading for more information on the cause and signs of whiplash.

What is whiplash?

According to Mayo Clinic, whiplash results from the sudden and intense jerking of your head back and forth. As the name suggests, the motion is similar to that of a cracking whip. While whiplash may result from sports injuries or falls, the most common cause of whiplash is due to car accidents.

Treatment for whiplash includes pain medication and neck exercises. While most cases clear up in a couple of weeks, it is possible to suffer from chronic pain indefinitely.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

In the days following a car accident, you may have whiplash if you experience any of the following symptoms.

  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Difficulty moving your neck, accompanied by pain
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Inability to move your neck in its normal range of motion
  • Numbness in your arms, with or without tingling
  • Intense headaches
  • Pain in the areas surrounding your neck

Additionally, some people experience more severe symptoms such as blurred vision, the inability to sleep, ringing in the ears, problems concentrating and even difficulty remembering things. Some people find that whiplash creates irritability because of the pain and even depression.