What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Jun 16, 2021

The experience of a car accident can be so stressful as you worry about taking care of your health, scheduling appointments, working with the insurance company, and filling out necessary reports. In the immediate aftermath of a car wreck, it is quite possible that you are in shock and that adrenaline is rushing through your body. Both shock and adrenaline can prevent you from fully recognizing the pain and symptoms of an injury right away. No matter whether you are feeling injured after a car accident or not, get checked out by a whiplash chiropractor who specializes in treating car accident injuries.

How Whiplash Can Affect You

Whiplash is also known as a hidden injury because its signs and symptoms can take a while to show up. You may experience some symptoms right away, while others may take days or even a week to fully appear. Whiplash doesn’t just affect one part of your body. You can feel pain and symptoms in your head, neck, back, and even shoulders after this type of car wreck injury.


Headaches are common with a whiplash injury because of how the head and neck were shaken up during the force of the crash. Whether your vehicle was hit from behind in a fender-bender or other type of car accident, it can cause your head and neck to fling forward and snap backward. Whiplash headaches may feel like tension headaches, but they can also originate in the base of your neck and radiate upward.


When you are in a car accident, the seat belt is designed to prevent you from being ejected from the vehicle, but it can’t protect your head and neck from getting shaken up. Some of the main symptoms of whiplash tend to occur in the neck because of how whiplash affects the muscles, tendons, spine, and other soft tissues here. Your neck muscles may have strained out of their normal range of motion with the sudden impact, which can lead to stiffness, swelling, and even tears. You may also experience misalignments of the vertebrae and spinal discs in your neck.


A whiplash injury can also cause misalignments to the vertebrae and spinal discs in your back as well. While the seat belt does restrain your upper body during a car accident, your upper back can experience strain and stress where it connects with your neck. The muscles in your back may take on more pressure and stress to compensate for the injury. Spinal misalignments of vertebrae and spinal discs can affect functioning in the rest of your body and even cause nerve pain and damage.


Misaligned vertebrae or spinal disc can put pressure on a nearby nerve that can cause symptoms like shooting pain, tingling, a “pins and needles” feeling, and even numbness through your shoulder and into your arm and hand. The nerves along the spine send signals from your brain to the rest of your body, so when they are pressured or compressed it can lead to these types of symptoms.

Diagnosing Whiplash

A whiplash chiropractor is highly knowledgeable and skilled in recognizing and diagnosing a wide variety of car accident injuries. When you visit a whiplash chiropractor after a car accident, they can perform a physical examination to assess how your body was impacted by the wreck. A physical assessment can also help to identify any swelling, inflammation, tenderness, and spinal misalignments. Your whiplash chiropractor may also want to run a diagnostic imaging test like an X-ray or MRI scan to rule out other potential car accident injuries like a concussion or fracture.

Treating Whiplash

Chiropractors who specialize in car accident injuries will treat your symptoms of whiplash as well as address the root cause of your pain. When you go to a chiropractor for treatment, they will utilize natural, holistic, and drug-free approaches to your treatment and care. Chiropractors incorporate techniques like spinal adjustments to resolve any misalignments and restore healthy functioning to your spine and nerves. They may also incorporate therapeutic massage, ultrasound, stretches, and exercises to support your recovery process.

If you’ve been in a car accident and are looking for a whiplash chiropractor in Jonesboro, visit AICA Orthopedics and meet with our experts to find out first-hand how our team of car accident doctors can provide you with comprehensive care for your car accident injury.


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