The Symptoms Of Whiplash Explained

Whiplash is the term that describes an injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck as a result of the head moving backwards, forwards, and sideways vigorously. The most common cause of whiplash is from a road traffic accident and this type of injury usually occurs when a car is “rear-ended”, although one can sustain a whiplash injury from an impact on any side of the vehicle.

Until recently, the reason for the extent of whiplash injuries was not known. After all, the most common symptom of whiplash is pain, and this usually occurs 6 – 12 hours after the accident, although it can take a few days for the true symptoms of whiplash to emerge.

Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of whiplash and explain what they mean.

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Pain and discomfort

This is the most common symptom and sign of whiplash. There may be no bruising or swelling to the neck. Any pain or discomfort moving your head, looking over your shoulders, rocking your head backwards and forwards or rocking your head from side to side may be a sign that you are suffering from whiplash. In most minor cases, these symptoms will ease after 4 weeks.

  • Headaches

The second most common symptom of whiplash is headaches. In the event of a road traffic accident where you sustain whiplash, your head will snap backwards and your neck will be damaged. This vigorous movement will upset the blood flow in your brain. This won’t cause any permanent damage in most cases, but it can lead to dull or severe headaches (migraines).

  • Dizziness
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It is perfectly natural to not feel yourself after a road traffic accident. In the short-term, you may find that you suffer from dizzy spells. There is no medical explanation as to why you may suffer from these as a result of whiplash, however it’s fair to assume that your body has taken a nasty shock and is in the process of trying to heal itself.

  • Emotional symptoms

Some whiplash victims suffer from psychological and emotional symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. While these psychological and emotional symptoms have been linked to whiplash injuries, it’s important to consider that they can be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition. Consult your GP if these symptoms persist.

  • Joint dysfunction
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In cases of severe whiplash, one of the joints in your spine or limbs may lose a level of joint play. In this instance, the symptoms will be restricted movement and pain when attempting to do so. Joint play is the result of one of the joints in your spine or limbs losing its normal level of resilience and shock absorption. In lay terms, your joint has been ‘rattled’.

If you are suffering from whiplash and wish to find out more about your injury and your eligibility to make a claim for compensation, feel free to give the highly trained and friendly team at AAH a call on 0800 689 0500 or from your mobile on 0333 500 0993.Alternativley please visit-

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