A whiplash injury can cause different symptoms. Some of these whiplash symptoms may seem to be totally unrelated to your injury. In some sufferers, their symptoms may be mild that they can continue doing their activity with slight discomfort. In others, they may experience symptoms that are so severe that it affects their ability to perform even the simplest of tasks.
What are the common symptoms of a whiplash injury?
People with whiplash injury may have different symptoms, which can also depend on the severity of their injury. What you feel after your injury may be different from others. You may experience a combination of any of the following
Most people who experience a whiplash injury complain of neck pain. This can be due to damage to any tissues in your neck, such as muscles and ligaments supporting your neck. Damage to your neck bones and related structures may lead to severe neck pain.
Your neck pain can be localized. This means that you feel pain at a specific area in your neck. Sometimes, your pain may seem to travel down to your shoulder and other parts of your upper back.
It is common for people to experience neck pain immediately after their injury. However, some people may have no pain immediately, but feel it after a few days or weeks.
Tenderness in your neck
You may experience swelling if a muscle or ligament in your neck is damaged. A fracture (broken bone) in any of your neck bones can also lead to swelling.
You may not experience neck stiffness immediately after your whiplash injury. Because of pain, you may be afraid to move your neck for a long time. Or you are wearing a cervical (neck) collar, which helps keep you from moving your neck. This can lead to stiffness of your neck muscles and joints.
Other symptoms of a whiplash injury may include
- Headache (near or at the base of the skull)
- Pain in your jaw [involvement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)]
- Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)
- Tingling or burning sensation that travels to your shoulder and arm (impinged nerve)
- Arm weakness
Some people, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, may experience symptoms related to mental or psychological conditions, such as
- Memory loss;
- Vision problems
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Nervousness or iirritability;
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Fatigue; or
Whiplash injury can cause several symptoms. Some of these immediately happen right after your injury while some are delayed. Don’t hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you
- Experience severe neck pain.
- Have pain that travels to your shoulder or arm.
- Weakness of upper and lower limbs.
- Loss of sensation to your shoulder and arm
- Are unsure of the severity of your injury.
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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). NINDS Whiplash Information Page. Accessed July 29, 2012
MedlinePlus-National Library of Medicine (NLM). Whiplash. Accessed on July 29, 2012, Better Health Channel. Neck and Shoulder Pain. Accessed on July 29, 2012