There is a good chance you have heard of the term whiplash. It occurs when there is a force strong enough to cause the head to vigorously move back and forth.
Various things can cause whiplash, including sports injuries, physical abuse and roller coasters. Car accidents, particularly rear-ended crashes, are the most common causes of whiplash, but unfortunately, many people do not seek treatment for the associated symptoms, which can have long-term consequences.
Common reasons people ignore whiplash
The time immediately following a car crash can be chaotic. Even in more minor accidents, which is when whiplash commonly occurs, there is a lot going on. Among exchanging information with the other driver, moving the vehicles out of traffic, filing a police report and being late to work, there is not a lot of time to focus on symptoms.
KTAR News discusses that whiplash is one injury that may take hours or even days to appear, which is another reason people do not seek care.
Consequences of whiplash
Whiplash causes damage to the soft tissues and nerves of the neck, and this results in a variety of associated symptoms. According to Healthline, some common symptoms include:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers
These symptoms may linger for a few weeks, although some may have chronic pain. Seeking care as soon as possible after an accident reduces symptoms quickly and heals the injury.
As the body acclimates to the injury, symptoms sometimes go away on their own, but the underlying injury is still there. For people with untreated whiplash, there is a greater chance of reinjuring the area in the future. Because the injury is still there, the person can also experience chronic neck pain and headaches.