Man Experiencing Whiplash After Car Collision

If another driver has hit your car from behind, then there is a good chance that you may experience some level of cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) or whiplash. This is a soft tissue injury, typically to your neck and spine; caused by a snapping back and forth motion. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in auto accidents, with approximately 13 cases taking place each hour.

However, how do you know if you have whiplash? Here are some of the classic signs and symptoms, as well as some others that you may not have considered.

1.  Neck Pain and Stiffness

One of the most classic and obvious symptoms of whiplash is neck pain and stiffness. This symptom can range from very mild tingling sensations to excruciating pain. You may experience this pain constantly, or you may only experience pain when you turn or rotate your neck and head.

During the crash, your body absorbs the blow through your car seat. If this blow has significant force, it can compress your cervical spine up towards your head. Your body then continues to accelerate forward, but your head does not. This causes your spine and neck to become an unnatural S-curve versus the natural C-curve.

Your risk of injury continues as your head then bounces back to impact the headrest and is then propelled forward. This motion often hyper-extends or propels your head beyond your body which is restrained by the seatbelt. These sharp movements cause whiplash in the neck and head.

2.  Lower Back Pain

While you may expect to experience upper back pain associated with the injuries to your neck, you may also experience lower back pain because of whiplash. This pain is typically caused by injuries to your actual spinal nerves, spinal cord, discs, or your facet and sacroiliac joints.

Lower back pain occurs because your lower back also absorbs a tremendous amount of the accident’s impact. This absorption can cause back strain or back strain. In addition to whiplash, your lower back pain could be a result of a bruised kidney or kidney contusion. Your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose your condition based on your symptoms.

3.  Arm Pain

In addition to pain in your neck and back, whiplash may cause pain in your arms and shoulders. Some of this can muscular pain may be from the tension of the injury, but more intense pain may be caused by a herniated disc and nerve compression.

Some patients experience minor tingling or loss of sensation in their hands or fingertips while others experience sharp shooting pains or heaviness and difficulty moving their arms.

This pain is typically called referred pain. This means that the pain is not caused by an injury at that particular site but is being caused by pressure on a nerve at another location in your back or neck. The pain you experience can vary based on the location of the nerve damage, as well as its severity.

4. Tiredness, Dizziness, Blurred Vision

If you are suffering from whiplash, then you may suffer from other types of neurological conditions. Some of these may include tiredness, dizziness, or blurred vision.

When your whiplash causes a mild traumatic brain injury, symptoms like tiredness, sleepiness, dizziness, or extreme fatigue can occur. The impact of the accident can affect your brain cells, and depending on the severity of the accident, can result in bruising, bleeding, or even torn tissues within your head.

A brain injury or strain or damage to your optic nerve during the accident could also result in distorted or blurred vision. In most cases, blurred vision is temporary and will clear up in a short period of time. However, you should still see a doctor in case the blurred vision is related to a brain injury.

If you feel you have experienced whiplash, then you need to call us at the Law Offices of Wells and McElwee, P.C. We will ensure you receive the medical care you need to recover and are compensated for your injuries.