Whiplash occurs from an injury to your neck, which is caused by the head being thrown forward then backward. It may also be called a neck sprain or strain, and is a generalized injury to the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons) of the neck. It most often occurs as a result of rear-end car collisions, but can also happen from a fall or sports injury. Severe whiplash can also involve injury to the joints, discs, neck muscles and nerves.
Symptoms of whiplash may start right after the injury or may take several days to become noticeable.
After an accident, some common symptoms of whiplash can include:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Loss of movement of the neck
- Headaches and dizziness
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty eating or chewing
- Burning, tingling or prickling sensations in the neck and down the arm
- Shoulder and upper back pain
Did you know?
Many studies have shown that the biggest risk associated with whiplash injuries is to not receive proper treatment promptly enough. This can lead to improper healing where the injured tissues tighten up and gradually get weaker. The longer this goes on, the harder it is to get better, which is why it is extremely important to consult with a qualified Physiotherapist as quickly as possible following a neck injury.