There are many types of injuries associated with car accidents. While the effects of whiplash are often minor, lasting effects can also occur.
According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a neck injury caused by rapid back-and-forth movement of the head. Some people experience minor effects that resolve with rest and relaxation. For others, the effects of whiplash are lasting and debilitating.
Symptoms of whiplash
Even minor car accidents should involve a medical evaluation. Symptoms of some injuries may not present for days or even weeks. With whiplash injuries, you may experience pain in the neck that gets worse with movement. Stiffness is also common, as is dizziness, numbness in the extremities, and headaches.
While less common, more serious symptoms can also occur. Negative effects on vision and hearing can occur, such as blurriness and ringing. Disruptions in cognitive function are also possible. Some people may have problems with memory or focus. Effects on mood include feelings of depression or irritability.
In addition to the above symptoms, certain factors can actually lead to long-term whiplash effects. For example, high-speed car accident victims have a greater risk of experiencing complications like severe pain and greatly restricted range of motion. Pain can sometimes spread to other areas of the body, such as the arms.
The risk of complications is higher if you experienced a rapid onset of symptoms after the initial injury. People with more severe pain and stiffness also have a greater chance of experience chronic whiplash complications.
A doctor can evaluate your symptoms to develop the right treatment approach. This can include medication, therapeutic exercises, and physical therapy.