Whiplash Warning Signs

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When your body is involved in any trauma, especially if there is a sudden acceleration and deceleration of body movement, the neck is one of the most vulnerable areas to take into account. Whiplash, as one of the most common soft tissue damage to the neck due to its hard and fast forward-backward movement, can cause distortion of the cervical spine leading to a serious injury which might cause an unbearable pain to the person affected that can last well after other injuries have healed.

Thus, it is very essential to recognize and diagnose earlier a person who has a whiplash, particularly during after the incident, because it might lead to some disabilities in the future that can be taxing to the individual who suffered from it. Clinical manifestations of whiplash might be seen right after the incident, and the people around the victim must know how to recognize these manifestations for them to properly respond and prevent further injury to that person.

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Signs and symptoms of whiplash may occur immediately or minutes to hours after the initial injury; the sooner after the injury that symptoms develop, the greater the chance of a serious damage. Some of which include the following:

-          Complaints of headaches and stiffness in the neck and the back of the head. These are main symptoms of whiplash. It may appear within the first couple of days after the accident and usually pass after a few days to a few weeks.

-          Neck swelling. Distortion of the soft tissue of the neck causes the body to respond by activating its inflammatory process leading to swelling of the neck.

-          Pain, numbness or paresthesia (pins and needles) in the arms and hands, are also presenting symptoms of whiplash which must be responded immediately because of the pain that causes undue burden to the person affected.

-          Difficulty of swallowing or also known as dysphagia. This symptom is related to the inflammatory process activated by the body which in turn leads to neck swelling, making it for an individual to have some difficulty in swallowing.

-          Vertigo. The sensation that you are moving or spinning while standing still. It differs from dizziness in that vertigo describes an illusion of movement. It is caused by the neck injury or head trauma brought about by the forceful accident.

-          Tinnitus. The perception of noise in one ear, both ears or inside the head.

Duration of Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Following a whiplash injury, the symptoms of dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and problems with swallowing should only last a short while. If any of these still persists, the person must consult his/her doctor for proper treatment.








  1. Definitely pay attention to the warning signs and get treatment immediately. Whiplash is harder to treat if delayed and result in a reverse cervical curve evident on x-rays. Reverse cervical curve will cause the cervical spine to degenerate at a faster rate.

  2. Another major concern to pass to the general public is understanding that speed is not part of the equation. You don’t have to have a high energy collision in order to have whiplash. Even low speed impacts can cause whiplash injury.

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