Whiplash is a type of neck strain associated with a force that jerks the head in a quick or sudden movement. The force that causes your neck to jerk forward or backward stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck. Depending on how severe the whiplash case is, it is not always able to heal on its own.
What Causes Whiplash?
The most well-known cause of whiplash is a car accident; however, there are many other causes of whiplash as well, even simple things can cause you to have whiplash injury symptoms. There is no way to avoid whiplash as whiplash is caused by unforeseen accidents.
Whiplash can be caused by roller coasters, being pushed or shaken, physical abuse or assault, sports-related collisions (such as being tackled in Football), a hard fall,
Whiplash Injury Symptoms
Whiplash injury symptoms do not always happen suddenly and may take hours or days before whiplash injury symptoms begin. It is also important to keep in mind that the same blow that caused the whiplash could always cause a concussion and should be taken very seriously.
- Pain - Because your neck muscles are stretched and torn, it is common to experience pain around the affected area.
- Decreased Range of Motion - The mobility of the neck could be limited either because of the pain or because the neck locks up.
- Tightness in Neck - The muscles in your neck are greatly affected when you have whiplash and could tighten.
- Muscles Feel Hard or Knotted - Muscles injured from whiplash can harden or feel knotted. Massages help the tension built up, but a correction to the problematic area will allow your muscles to relax.
- Pain Moving Head Side to Side - The strained muscles can make it painful to move the head side to side.
- Pain or Stiffness Occurs When Looking Over Shoulder
The injured muscles make it very difficult for a person to look over their shoulder. Sometimes the person will feel a painful tug as they look over the shoulder or their neck becomes so stiff it prevents the person from looking over the shoulder.
- Tenderness - This whiplash injury symptom can occur in the shoulder, upper back, or arms.
- Headaches at Base of Skull - These headaches radiate towards the forehead.
- Fatigue - Injuries can cause the body to feel fatigued due to your body trying to heal or due to the pressure or stress put on your system that takes away your body’s energy.
- Dizziness - Having dizziness as a whiplash injury symptom can cause balance issues.
There are cases in which people have encountered these additional whiplash injury symptoms:
- Tinnitus - This refers to a ringing, clicking, buzzing, hissing, or whistling sound in the ear that is not there.
- Blurred Vision - Due to a misalignment in the neck, whiplash can change your vision.
Whiplash injuries can cause irritability depending on the severity, especially if whiplash has caused a negative change in their daily living activities.
- Depression - A common whiplash-associated disorder. Whiplash, depending on the case, could lead a sufferer to experience depression or increase their depression.
- Memory Problems - Whiplash sufferers may experience memory problems due to the injury as whiplash can affect their mental skills.
- Difficulty Concentrating - Some whiplash patients find it hard to focus on a subject or task at hand.
- Trouble Sleeping - The pain and stress the body is under after whiplash can cause the sufferer to have trouble sleeping.
Whiplash and whiplash injury symptoms can last for years and lead to additional injuries if not taken care of. Whiplash leaves your neck area vulnerable and those who have whiplash should take it easy while the area recovers and seek treatment to help the repairing process.
Those who leave their whiplash untreated or have suffered a severe injury from whiplash could face permanent damage and have their whiplash injury symptoms worsen over time.