Is Whiplash Painful?

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Encountering a motor-vehicular accident or any car crash would be traumatic experience for many, but what make this worst are the injuries you sustain after the accident, which could even last for a couple of months and even years. It could furthermore lead to a more serious injury which most of the victim suffer. One of the most common injuries that a person can endure from any car crash accident would be a whiplash, and seriously, the pain that it can cause is not any joke!

Whiplash neck pain is a common result of car accidents. During car crash accidents, the body is secured into the seat and the head is thrown forward. This motion causes hyperflexion of the neck. This means that the abrupt forward motion of the head is past the comfortable and normal range of neck movement. This causes the muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back to be overstretched or torn. Muscular neck injury is painful, but should not lead to a chronic problem.

Symptoms of whiplash neck pain include: Pain and stiffness in the neck which may take several hours after the accident for symptoms to appear. The pain and stiffness often become worse on the day after the accident. In about half of cases, the pain first develops the day after the accident; difficulty hearing which can be a result of neck injury; difficulty swallowing due to the inflammation brought about by the trauma; dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the jaw or pain on swallowing, unusual sensations of the facial skin may occur for a short while, but soon will be relieved. However, if it still persists, it could be a problem. Also, the stress can build up a tension in the muscles which can add to the pain that a person is suffering. Emotional trauma and worries because of the accidents also put the person in an endearing pain which often cause headaches. In order to separate psychological back pain from whiplash injuries, an exam from a physician is recommended.

Recommended treatments for whiplash neck pain include: Ice or cold therapy, it is usually recommended for the first 48 hours after the injury. It helps reduce the inflammation and swelling sustained from the accident. It also provides some minor pain relief. On the other hand, heat therapy follows the cold therapy; it increases the circulation of blood to the injury, supplying the necessary nutrients needed, hence, speeding up the healing process. Pharmacological treatment is also advised for severe injuries, especially if the pain is already chronic and severe.

Whiplash pain is dangerous and it may indicate that something fatal may happen when this is not managed immediately. Remember, the spinal cord runs the course of our brain down to the sacral area. If a whiplash injury is not treated properly, there is a big chance for paraplegia or other forms of paralysis to occur. This is something we must avoid as much as possible. Like any other conditions, early treatment is the best form of intervention.




  1. I love the article. I am a chiropractor that specializes in whiplash and you did a great job explaining it in lay terms. Plus, I love the good picture showing the stretch of the SCM and scalene muscles.

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