Do you have neck pain from a car accident? Don’t dismiss it; it may be whiplash.
How can you tell?
Honestly, you can’t. The only way to know for sure if you have whiplash is to see a qualified physician.
But in case it will help you get to the doctor sooner, we’ve made a list of whiplash symptoms to watch out for. Go straight to the doctor if you notice these signs you have whiplash.
1. A Sharp Pain and/or Stiffness in Your Neck
Your first clue that you have whiplash is a sharp pain in your neck. The pain may feel like a tight muscle, knot, or pinched nerve. Neck pain from whiplash may be constant or only while performing certain motions, such as turning your head.
In addition to the pain, you may feel stiffness in your neck and upper body. It may be difficult or painful for you to move your neck and upper body in certain ways without pain.
If you have a sharp neck pain within 24 hours of the accident, you should seek a professional chiropractor or general practice physician right away.
2. Constant or Reoccurring Headache
Instead of or in addition to neck pain, whiplash may cause you to start having more headaches than usual. This could mean you have several headaches that come and go randomly. Or you may develop a constant headache that doesn’t go away.
Either way, headaches are a common sign of whiplash. If you notice it, get it checked out.
Whiplash headaches may be accompanied by dizziness and even disorientation. This particular symptom is definitely not one to ignore.
Cervicogenic dizziness associated with whiplash may be a symptom of inner ear trauma or brain injury. These are serious problems that will get worse the longer they go untreated.
If you experience dizziness after a car crash, get checked into the doctor right now.
4. Blurry Vision
Blurred vision is another whiplash symptom that’s too serious to ignore. Blurry vision and other visual problems may be a sign of nerve damage, concussion, or other problems.
You may notice your vision blurring immediately after the accident or days later. If you do, drop what you’re doing and get medical attention.
5. Ringing Ears
Another common symptom of whiplash is a ringing or buzzing sound in one or both ears. This ringing is called tinnitus and may be caused by a number of problems associated with whiplash.
Like the other symptoms, the perceived sound of tinnitus may be constant or intermittent and varies in intensity.
What To Do if You Notice These Signs of Whiplash
If you’ve noticed any of these whiplash symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
But beware of doctors who downplay your symptoms. If the doctor quickly writes them off as minor symptoms and simply prescribes pain medication, get a second opinion. It’s worth it to avoid complications later on.
Don’t Ignore These Signs You Have Whiplash
Untreated whiplash usually gets worse very quickly. If you’ve recently been in a car accident and notice any of these signs you have whiplash, don’t wait to receive medical treatment.
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