Whiplash What are the Symptoms

Neck Pain/Inflammation

Neck pain is often the most common symptom of whiplash due to the nature of the injury. Whiplash occurs when the tendons and ligaments of the neck are overstretched or are forced beyond their usual movement. This vigorous movement can lead to a dull ache and inflammation immediately after the injury has occurred. In more severe cases, it may be difficult to turn the neck in either direction.


Any injury relating to the neck will often cause increased dizziness. The physical force of whiplash can lead to a state of unconsciousness or a feeling of being ‘out of it’. This can also lead to an increased sense of tiredness.


Headaches are often an immediate symptom of whiplash due to the often powerful nature of the collision and how it may shake the head in an unusual fashion. Though headaches usually dissipate after time, they may lead to blurred vision in more serious cases.

Other Symptoms

Whiplash also impacts on other parts of the body. Pain in the shoulders and lower back is a common symptom of acute whiplash. Whiplash can also cause difficulties in swallowing, memory loss, poor concentration, irritability and tinnitus. There are also a variety of psychological factors that could arise. These include social isolation and increased anger issues.

Delayed Whiplash Symptoms

In some cases, whiplash injuries do not appear immediately. Inflammation around the neck area may take up to three days to appear, while aching could present itself over a month later. Discomfort and tightness in the neck, pain in the arms and legs, pins and needles, mouth pain and difficulty eating are among the common delayed whiplash symptoms.

What to Do

Whiplash will usually get better without extra treatment due to the fact that it is a self-limiting condition. Gentle neck exercises are now thought to be more beneficial for the injury than using a neck brace. Painkillers can be used to ease any discomfort in the short term, though those suffering from chronic whiplash are advised to visit a chiropractor or physiotherapist for treatment. You can receive compensation for any financial losses or hardship that arose as a result of a whiplash injury by making personal injury claims.

Causes of Whiplash

Car Accidents

The most common cause of whiplash is car accidents. The injury usually occurs following rear-end collisions, even those at low speeds. These conditions cause the neck to be violently thrown back and forth due to the acceleration of the vehicle after it has been hit. Both drivers and passengers can make a personal injury claim if another party caused the accident.


Suffering whiplash at work is a possibility if appropriate health and safety precautions have failed to be put in place during certain tasks. Unfortunate accidents could also occur due to the negligence of a fellow colleague or superior.


Players taking part in contact sports such as football, rugby and boxing can often sustain whiplash due to the frequent nature of collisions. You can make a personal injury claim if an organisation or individual is found to be at fault.


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  3. Whiplash injuries can also occur from just working out. Except they are not called whiplash they are called, strains and sprains, or pulled muscle injuries. I do believe they are all soft tissue injuries.

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  6. Whiplash is certainly something that isn't fun to have to deal with. I agree with your "what to do" section, get help from a doctor. If you don't you may end up with a worse injury than the one you started with.