Common Auto Injuries: Whiplash and its Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Auto accidents are among the most common causes of injuries in the United States. A leading injury that accident victims get during a car crash is whiplash. It causes discomfort and long-term pain. Read on to learn about whiplash, its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Whiplash?


Whiplash is an injury on the neck due to the forceful and sudden neck movement that occurs during a car accident. Many liken it to the cracking of a whip. It often occurs during rear-end auto accidents.

Whiplash Symptoms


Whiplash symptoms vary from one individual to the next, ranging from mild to severe. Below are some of the common symptoms people experience when they get this neck injury:

  • Neck stiffness and pain

  • Tingling and numbness in the hands and arms

  • Headaches

  • Blurred vision

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue

  • Shoulder pain

Whiplash symptoms may not occur immediately after the accident. They can take a few hours or days after the auto accident. There are also cases where some individuals experience no symptoms at all.

Causes of Whiplash


Car accidents commonly cause whiplash as your head can jolt suddenly back and forth when your vehicle gets hit from the backside. Consequently, your neck will move beyond its usual range of motion. The sudden movement will damage the soft tissue in your neck, making you experience whiplash symptoms.



Whiplash treatment depends on how severe the injury is. Over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can relieve the swelling and pain caused by the neck injury.

You can improve your neck’s range of motion through whiplash treatment. It can relieve pain in your neck. Your doctor can teach you additional exercises to prevent the risk of getting injuries in the future.

Chiropractic care is another effective method to treat whiplash. Chiropractors treat musculoskeletal conditions to help relieve whiplash symptoms. They may treat you using stretching, massage, or spinal manipulation techniques. These improve your range of motion and relieve pain.

Ice and heat therapy also helps relieve whiplash symptoms. You can reduce the pain and swelling by applying ice to the affected area. Heat therapy can help after a few days of using the ice therapy. Use it to promote healing and increase circulation.

Your healthcare provider may recommend treating your whiplash injury with cortisone injections if your case is severe. The treatment will help relieve your pain and reduce inflammation caused by neck injury. Surgery may help in rare cases of whiplash. Your doctor can only recommend a surgical procedure if you have not experienced relief from conservative treatments.

How to Prevent Whiplash


The best way to ensure you do not get whiplash from an auto accident is to drive safely and encourage other drivers to do so. Practice safe habits like reading and obeying traffic rules and signs. It is also vital to always wear a seat belt while in a car.

Always maintain a safe distance from the car ahead of you while on the road. Avoid sudden starts and stops. Ensure you adjust your headrest while in your vehicle. Finally, avoid using your phone or texting while driving.

For more about whiplash, visit 22 Health at our office in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Call (407) 951-8921 to book an appointment today.

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