Whiplash is a term often associated with car accidents. It can occur after a fall, assault, or sports accident as well. But regardless of how common the term is, many people don’t know what it’s like (the symptoms, severity, and impact on daily life vary from person to person). We’ll now answer the question, “What does whiplash feel like?” to help you recognize the signs and determine when to seek medical treatment.
What Does Whiplash Mean?
Whiplash is when spine and neck tissues are strained due to a sudden, rapid backward and forward movement of the head. This can result in damage to muscles and tendons. Spinal fractures can occur as well with such forceful movements. The severity of whiplash may be determined by how hard your car was hit, how fast it was moving, and the direction from which the impact occurred.
What Does Whiplash Feel Like?
The symptoms can last days, months, or years. If you have whiplash, you may experience these common signs:
- Pain and Stiffness: The most common sign of whiplash is pain and stiffness in your neck. The pain may be constant or get worse when you move a certain way, such as moving your head side-to-side. It may occur when moving your neck up or down. Depending on the injury, the sensation may also radiate to the shoulders, upper back, and upper arms.
- Headaches: A headache may originate from the base of the skull. You may also notice the pain radiating toward the front of your head.
- Numbness and Weakness: If you feel numbness and weakness in your arms, whiplash may be accompanied by damage to major nerves in your upper body.
- Weariness/Changes in Mood: You may be moody, irritable, or depressed if you have whiplash. It may also be hard to concentrate, while difficulty with memory can occur as well.
- Unusual Fatigue: In addition to pain and other symptoms, you may feel sleepy during the day or extremely sluggish. Doing the simplest of activities can leave you feeling fatigued.
Less common signs of whiplash include dizziness, difficulty sleeping, blurred vision, or ringing in the ears. Anxiety and other changes in mood or personality occur in some people.
What to Do If You Think You Have Whiplash
While whiplash can go away on its own, it’s important to seek treatment. A diminished function can occur even if you don’t have pain. Fortunately, whiplash is usually fairly easy to treat. A doctor may prescribe pain medication, ice, and heat therapy, or a foam collar. In addition, they may recommend range-of-motion exercises and physical therapy.
Whiplash can also be associated with various complications. These include persistent and chronic pain and other symptoms. Older patients are at risk of long-lasting effects as is any person with a history of back or neck pain. Anyone with whiplash should avoid physically demanding activities until they are fully recovered because these increase the risk of further injury.
Seek Treatment Immediately After Your Accident
The sooner you receive treatment, the more likely you are to heal completely. Immediate medical care can also identify more serious issues that can lead to severe outcomes if not treated quickly. There’s another benefit to being treated right after your accident. Medical records can correlate your injury with the accident in question, which can help with an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit. It can increase the value of your case so you are more fairly compensated.
Contact The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani
We specialize in a wide range of injury cases, including neck pain and other symptoms and injuries associated with whiplash. If you’re asking, “What does whiplash feel like” after an accident, don’t delay medical care, and speak to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney right away. At The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani, we’ve fought all types of accident and injury cases and have won clients millions of dollars in damages. Call 888-952-2952 to set up your free consultation.