Neck pain and stiffness
Whiplash can cause the neck to have a decreased range of motion. There can be a total loss of movement in the neck or difficulty and pain when moving the neck up, down or side-to-side. To some, it may feel like waking up on the wrong side of bed with a stiff neck.
Whiplash can cause internal jury, resulting in pain and swelling in the head. The resulting headaches may radiate pain from the base of the skull to the forehead.
Supporting ligaments, muscles and discs may be strained or torn, impacting the shoulder and back. This may also cause irritation to connecting nerves in the area.
Dizziness and difficulty with concentration or remembering
A severe head jerk can sometimes cause cranial damage as severe as traumatic brain injury and concussion. Symptoms of head injury, like dizziness or confusion need to be taken seriously and any patient displaying these should be taken to an emergency medical facility as soon as possible.
Sufferers of whiplash may experience pain while at rest. A doctor may order a cervical collar to help immobilize the neck, enabling the patient to sleep without pain. This solution is a temporary one, however, as collars should not be worn for extended periods of time.
Doctors will often prescribe painkillers and mild muscle relaxants to treat cases of whiplash. It is also advisable to apply an ice or heat pack to the area to ease discomfort during the first few days after the injury occurs. The recovery process may be helped along with physical therapy, when recommended by a doctor.
Depending on the severity of whiplash, recovery can take anywhere from weeks to months. In severe cases of whiplash, the patient may experience chronic pain due to joint, disc, or ligament damage. Occasional application of heat and ice packs (alternate the two every half hour), refraining from strenuous tasks, and mild over-the-counter painkillers should alleviate most discomfort.
Informational Credit to Brunt & Hood LLC