Whiplash is a common upper spine injury that can manifest weeks after the incident that caused it. Usually occasioned by being “rear-ended” in a motor vehicle collision, whiplash symptoms may be hard for others to understand.
That’s especially true if you don’t feel anything immediately following the incident in question.
People may even tell you you’re imaging things if symptoms show up weeks later or they have experience with another person who’s sustained a whiplash injury. They may believe that all whiplash injuries are created equal. But whiplash can take many forms. Symptomatic manifestation may occur immediately, shortly after or weeks after an accident.
Most people recover from a whiplash injury in under three months. Others can take much longer and even develop chronic problems as the result of their injury.
If you’ve sustained whiplash, the following are some things you should know. They may help you explain to others what you’re experiencing.
Delayed appearance of symptoms
Unlike most other injuries (especially those involving motor vehicle collisions), whiplash pain may not show up until later. It’s not uncommon, for this reason, for people who’ve been in a car accident in which they’ve been hit from behind to go home and forget about it.
But many people with whiplash won’t know anything’s amiss until the next day, or even weeks later.
Not just pain
Whiplash has many symptoms, which can include dizziness, changes in mood, difficulty concentrating, sudden vision challenges, ringing in the ears and trouble swallowing and chewing.
In some cases, whiplash patients have also experienced a concussion as the result of the collision and this can be difficult to diagnose. In the presence of multiple symptoms as enumerated above, though, it’s easier for a physician to discern.
Whiplash can have long term consequences, if these serious symptoms are not treated. Together with people not understanding what’s going on with you, the changes in your mood and cognitive difficulties may result in isolation.
If you don’t know what’s going on, how can they?
Low speed and no damage don’t mean no whiplash
Whiplash symptoms may be hard for others to understand. That’s especially true if you’re not acknowledging that the accident you’ve been involved in has resulted in whiplash.
Even if the collision occurred at a low speed resulting in minimal damage to either vehicle, you can still have a whiplash injury.
That’s why, even if you’re not in pain, you go see your doctor if you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle collision. Your doctor should know if you’ve been struck from behind by another car and can make the difference between a minor problem becoming a chronic one with social and medical implications.
Back & Body Medical
If you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect you may have whiplash, reach out to the team at Back & Body. We’re a multi-disciplinarian team of clinicians specializing in pain relief, drawing on chiropractic, acupuncture, sports medicine and physical therapy.
Don’t leave it to chance if you’ve been in a car accident. Contact us for a consultation.