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Signs of whiplash after a car accident

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Whiplash occurs in many car accident cases. It is often seen when hit from behind.  It occurs when the head and neck are suddenly and forcefully thrown backward and forward, causing the neck to move rapidly.

This can lead to various symptoms that may not always appear immediately. Understanding the signs of whiplash is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment.

Neck pain and stiffness

The most common and immediate symptom of whiplash is neck pain and stiffness. You may experience mild pain, or more severe chronic pain that gets worse when you move. The stiffness can limit the range of motion, making it difficult to turn the head from side to side.


Headaches often accompany neck pain in whiplash injuries. Usually, whiplash-caused headaches start near the base of your skull and radiate up to your forehead. They are sometimes mistaken for tension headaches or migraines.

Shoulder and back pain

Whiplash can also cause pain to spread to the shoulders and upper back. This pain might not be evident immediately after the accident but can develop over several hours or days.

Tingling and numbness

Sometimes, whiplash can cause your hands and arms to feel numb or you may have a tingling sensation. This occurs when the whiplash affects the nerves in the neck, potentially causing a sensation of pins and needles or even a loss of feeling in certain areas.

Dizziness and fatigue

Dizziness and fatigue are common symptoms that can develop in the days following a whiplash injury. The dizziness can affect balance and coordination, while fatigue can result from the body’s response to the trauma.

Recognizing the signs of whiplash is essential for seeking appropriate medical attention. While some symptoms appear immediately, others may develop over time, highlighting the need for ongoing monitoring after a car accident. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment. If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds to file a legal claim.