Whiplash Symptoms and Resulting Disorders


Whiplash symptoms are often so minor that they subside within a day or two. However, for some, the symptoms are more serious and even lead to chronic disorders. Individuals encountering a whiplash can develop various kinds of chronic symptoms ranging from excruciating pain to emotional and cognitive problems. 

Victims may experience the symptoms right after acceleration-deceleration accidents or might see the symptoms appearing after a few hours or even days of the accidents. There are also times when even the most advanced diagnostic tests fail to identify the exact causes of whiplash. As whiplash symptoms can be of various kinds and can have varied complexities, medical experts collectively call them whiplash-associated disorders.  

Common Whiplash Symptoms 

Neck pain: Neck pain caused by whiplash can be mild, moderate, or severe. It might occur at a particular point on the neck or may radiate slowly down your shoulder and then move towards your arms and/or hands. Whiplash-induced neck pain mostly occurs due to muscle strains or ligament sprains. On rare occasions, the symptom might indicate injuries to your bones, joints, nerves, and/or discs. 

Neck Stiffness: A stiffness in the neck and subsequent reduction in neck mobility can result from severe pain in the region, joint issues, and muscle tightening.

Neck Instability:  Torn or stretched soft tissue (for example ligaments) is often the main culprit of this problem. Some may also experience neck instability due to a fracture. 

Headache: You may develop a headache due to irritation in the joint or nerve of your cervical spine or tightening of your neck muscles.  

Upper Back and/or Shoulder Pain: Strained or torn soft tissues in the neck (examples include ligaments and muscles) can cause mild to severe upper back and/or shoulder pain. 

Radiating Numbness, Tingling, or Weakness: Inflammation or compression of the nerve roots of your neck following whiplash can make you suffer from a condition called cervical radiculopathy. Radiating numbness, tingling, or weakness around your shoulder, arm, and/or hand may signify the occurrence of the condition. 

Usually, the above-mentioned symptoms of cervical radiculopathy occur on any one side of the victim’s body. However, there are also rare instances where the victims have developed the symptoms on both sides of their body. 

A Discussion on Whiplash-Associated Disorders 

Whiplash-associated disorders can be mild, and you can see them go away without seeking any medical help. However, if you are unlucky, you may need to contact a social security disability attorney as a result of developing a temporary or permanent disability following the accident. The section below will introduce you to the most common whiplash-associated disorders. 

Mild to Moderate Health Issues: Whiplash may cause a concussion or neck instability, both of which can leave you dizzy for a few days. Blurry vision is another common consequence of this type of injury. This happens when the concussion damages the nerve. Other common disorders that may bother you include emotional changes, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sleep deprivation, etc. 

Severe Disorders: Nerve damage can make you permanently blind or can even result in permanent loss of mobility. 

A victim of whiplash should visit a doctor as soon as possible. This reduces their chances of developing a permanent disability. 


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