After a car crash, you may feel mysterious aches and pains in your neck or back.
For chronic whiplash injuries, symptoms may not show up until days or weeks later and could be a sign of something more worrisome.
How do whiplash injuries occur?
According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash occurs when a vehicle makes a sudden stop and whips your neck back and forth. Even at low speeds or during rear-end collisions, you may still severely injure your neck or ligaments.
One reason whiplash goes untreated is that many victims overlook this trauma at the time. However, once the shock wears off, many people feel a stiffness or ache that could point to long-lasting neck trauma.
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Feeling lingering discomfort when you touch your neck or a sensitivity around the base of your neck is one sign that you could have whiplash injuries. The pain may be dull, as opposed to sharp, and it may even spread to your arms if it gets more severe.
Uneasy sleeping patterns, issues with memory or blurred vision are also signs. Whiplash may lead to increased fatigue or memory problems if left untreated. Dizziness while standing or sitting could be a sign of head or neck trauma.
Those with preexisting neck or back problems are at greater risk of chronic pain if not treated. MRI or X-ray scans can help determine the extent of the injury, and if surgery is necessary. Seeking medical help is common if you begin feeling symptoms a day or even a week after a crash.