What are the symptoms of whiplash, and how is it treated?

Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. This is a common injury during a car accident, especially a rear-end accident. 

Signs and symptoms 

Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within 24hours to a few days after the injury, and may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Also, tingling or numbness in the arms

Some people may also experience:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • In addition, Depression

Long term effects of whiplash

Most people who have whiplash, recover within a few weeks after the injury, especially if they get proper medical treatment. However, some people continue to have pain for several months or years after the accident.

The long-term effects of whiplash can include:

  • Chronic pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Back pain
  • Severe, chronic headaches
  • Numbness or weakness in hands, arms, or legs
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Also, memory problems

When to see a doctor

Whiplash and any other injuries might not show symptoms right away. It is essential to check in with a doctor after an accident to rule out damages that may have occurred. If left untreated, your injuries might get worse. A doctor can do a physical check and order an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI to diagnose the injury and rule out potential injuries.  

Treatment for whiplash

Depending on the severity of the injuries, treatment will be different. A doctor will evaluate your injuries and accordingly give you treatment options. Possible treatment a doctor could give:

  • Prescribe pain relive medication
  • Refer you to a chiropractor
  • Refer you to a physical therapist
  • Give you simple exercises and stretches to perform
  • Also, other possible treatments if the injury is severe 

You might not feel any pain right away with the shock of the accident and adrenalin rushing through the body. Furthermore, pain and injuries can get worse days after the accident. It is crucial to get checked by a medical professional right away to get proper treatment for any unseen injuries that you may have. Your next step is to call a trusted attorney that has experience with car accidents.

At Attorneys For All, we are helping injured people get the compensation they deserve. Feel free to call us 24/7 at (281) 475-4535 or fill out a consultation form here to start the process.




DerSarkissian, Carol. “Whiplash – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment.” WebMD, WebMD, 25 Apr. 2019, www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/pain-management-whiplash.

“Whiplash.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Feb. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/symptoms-causes/syc-20378921.