Car accidents account for many injuries per year. These injuries can be severe and even fatal in the worst-case scenario. A common injury due to the forceful impact of an automobile crash is a condition termed whiplash. Many victims wonder how long their whiplash symptoms will last and if there are any long-term effects of whiplash after a car accident.
Defining Whiplash That Occurs After an Automobile Accident
The word whiplash is used to describe the forceful back-and-forth motions of the neck. Whiplash essentially whips the head and neck back-and-forth due to the collision impact. Victims often complain of neck and shoulder pain, neck stiffness, and a headache.
How Common Are Whiplash Injuries Following a Car Crash?
It is estimated that over 200,000 cases of whiplash are reported each year in the United States.
How Long Do Whiplash Injuries Last After a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Left untreated, whiplash injurvies may continue to be an issue for months and sometimes years following the initial injury during the car collision. Most of the more common symptoms of whiplash involve damage to the softer tissues in the upper back, should area, and neck. This may include damage to ligaments, spinal/neck discs, and joints of the neck.
When the damage is more severe, those initial acute-phase whiplash injuries may linger longer becoming a chronic type of situation. If the injury is not diagnosed and treated in a prompt and effective manner, the victim may experience further neck, head, and upper back area injury symptoms since the already damaged soft tissues are re-injured one or many more times.
Understanding Whiplash Symptoms That May Continue Long-Term
The forceful propulsion of the vulnerable neck, head, and upper back during a typical motor vehicle collision may produce immediate acute symptoms like neck or shoulder pain, headache, and muscle soreness. Sometimes it takes a while for many of the symptoms to appear.
Common whiplash symptoms that could remain long-term include:
- Neck Pain & Stiffness
- Difficulty Moving Neck or Upper Shoulder/Back Regions
- Muscle Pain, Soreness & Spasms to Affected Area
- Brushing of the Neck & Surrounding Areas
- Swelling of Soft Tissues
- Mental Focus Difficulties and/or Memory Loss
- Chronic Upper Back & Shoulder Pain & Stiffness
- Problems Sleeping
- Tinnitus – Ringing or Buzz in Ears
- Vision Issues
- Jaw Pain
- Dizziness and/or Problems with Balance or Gait
- Ongoing or Off/On Neurological Deficits like Numbness, Tingling or Pain in Arms/Hands
- Feeling of Heaviness in Arms
Why Prompt & Ongoing Treatment Should Be Initiated After Whiplash Injuries
Whenever an accidental event that causes injuries to the head, spine, or neck occurs, it is imperative for the victim to get prompt and experienced treatment. Some of the symptoms of whiplash may not begin to appear for hours, days, and even longer causing delays in treatment.
Chiropractic care and other alternative medical treatments may bring relief of many symptoms commonly experienced following a whiplash injury event. Whiplash injuries can also occur in sports, after falls, and in other situations.
Dr. Jeffrey Robinson DC is a Holistic Doctor and Chiropractor with extensive experience in treating patients after an auto accident. Utilizing Applied Kinesiology with Integrative nutritional medicine and a good clinical history has helped him to provide a wide scope of care and diagnosis to numerous health conditions. Contact Dr. Robsinon at AZ Multicare to begin your auto injury chiropractic treatment.