Whiplash is a serious injury to the neck often experienced during rear end car accidents. Whiplash could also occur from side impacts and front collisions, too. Under normal driving conditions, the neck and body are moving in relative motion similar to the vehicle.
When the car is struck from behind, this impact alters the forces of motion. Initially, the body is pushed forward, while the neck and head are forced backwards, against the head rest. After the initial impact the body returns backwards into the seat, while the head and neck are projected forwards. All of this movement occurs relatively fast, resulting in an unnatural movement of the neck, head, and body, resulting in an overstretching of the soft tissues, muscles, and connective tissues within the neck, shoulders, and head.
Even in cases where the accident was minor and your vehicle may not have been damaged, the soft tissues in your neck could still have been injured. In many cases, the majority of people involved in accidents report no signs or symptoms of injuries immediately following the accident. It is not uncommon for these to remain hidden, thanks to increased adrenaline levels within the body for up to 48 hours after the accident.
It is within this 48 hour period, you can start to notice swelling, bruising, soreness, pain, and discomfort. However, there have been documented cases where individuals have not noticed any signs or symptoms of whiplash or injury following a car accident by as much as two weeks!
If you notice any of the following symptoms, after being involved in a car accident, it could indicate you have whiplash.
1. A general sense of tiredness.
2. A lack of energy (fatigue).
3. Headaches which can range from minor to severe.
4. Problems focusing or concentrating on tasks.
5. Issues with your vision, where it takes longer to focus, images seem fuzzy, or you are seeing spots.
6. A tingling or numbness in your limbs, like when they go to “sleep” and “wake up.”
7. Stiffness, soreness, tenderness, pain, or aches in the back, shoulders, or neck.
8. Dizzy spells or light-headedness that range in duration and could be minor to severe.
9. Unexplained fainting spells.
If you notice any of the above or other discomforts, it is important to seek a medical evaluation from our North York physiotherapy clinic. The sooner you have injuries assessed, the better, as it will help reduce the risks of long-term damages. It is never in your best interests to take a “wait and see” approach after a car accident, hoping you will feel better or the pain will simply go away on its own.
Taking this approach often leads to more suffering and discomfort, decreased activity levels, and problems affecting your day-to-day routines. Whether you notice symptoms right away or a few days later, do not ignore them and call us, here at P&C Rehabilitation Services to schedule an appointment by phoning 416-652-6223 now!