Whiplash Accident Injury
Posted by: Dr. Bruce Myers |

Common Causes of Whiplash Injuries

3 Common Causes of Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash is the non-medical term that is used to describe pain in the neck after an injury to the soft tissues of neck occurs.

This condition sometimes can take a couple days to show symptoms, so it is important to pay attention to your body in the days following your accident.

After an accident, it's important to see a Whiplash Injury Chiropractor.

In this blog, we discuss the three most common causes of whiplash injuries, what to do following a whiplash injury, and a proper course of treatment.

Table of contents:
There are a variety of causes that can lead to Whiplash Injuries.

Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents.

But whiplash can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse, and other types of traumas, such as a fall.

Rear-End Collisions 

Rear-end car accidents are one of the most common ways for someone to suffer from whiplash.

When a motor vehicle is moving at relatively slow speeds (10-15 mph), or above, and it is hit from behind by another vehicle, soft tissue damage to the neck is likely to occur due to the backward and forwards movement of the neck.

whiplash injuries after a rear-end collision

The unexpected force that is exerted on the body will cause the head to be thrown backward and then quickly followed by a forwards motion.

When this violent and forceful movement occurs to the neck, the soft tissues in the neck and the cervical spine are very likely to become damaged. 

Slips and Falls 

Whiplash can also occur in a slip or fall accident. Slip and fall accidents can occur almost anywhere, especially on uneven or wet floors.

When a person slips or trips and either hits an object or the floor when falling, the impact can cause soft tissue damage to the ligaments and tendons very similarly to that of a car accident.

Slip and Fall Whiplash Injury

The quick sudden force of the backward and forward movement of the neck will cause similar damage to the ligaments and tendons in the neck causing whiplash to occur. 

Sports Injury 

Whiplash injuries can also occur in contact sports, such as football and rugby.

The acceleration and deceleration forces that are associated with whiplash injuries are often experienced in various sporting scenarios, especially contact sports.

Whiplash from Sports Injury

 Whiplash injuries often occur during an impact between two players, or when one player is thrown to the ground.

In some sports, it's common for the players to be in a situation where whiplash is likely to occur on a daily basis. 

Symptoms of Whiplash

Signs and symptoms of whiplash aren't always immediately apparent, but they usually develop within days of the injury.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

Some less frequent symptoms are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Depression


What To Do If You Suffer a Whiplash Injury 

If you are involved in an accident that causes you to suffer a Whiplash Injury, it's crucial to your recovery to visit a Chiropractor as soon as possible. 

Whiplash Injuries cause pain and discomfort on your neck, however, in some cases, symptoms of whiplash may take hours or days after the accident to become apparent. 

This can be dangerous for the victim because a doctor's visit may be put off due to a lack of pain immediately following the accident. 

When the victim does begin to experience neck pain from the whiplash injury, they might not associate the pain with the accident.

This means they will be stuck paying out-of-pocket for their injury that may be covered if someone else was at fault for the accident. 

It's always advised to seek medical treatment after an accident for this exact reason. Your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat your whiplash injury before it can become worse. 


See A Chiropractor For Your Whiplash

The best treatment to seek after a car accident is chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is similar to physical therapy, and chiropractors are specially trained in and specialize in treating soft-tissue injuries of the neck and back. 

When you see a chiropractor immediately after an accident, they will ask about your symptoms and perform a comprehensive physical exam, sometimes including x-rays, to determine if you're suffering from whiplash.

Along with the physical exam, your chiropractor will go over your entire medical history before putting together your treatment plan.

Your treatment plan may include spinal adjustments as well as stretches and exercises to regain your strength and mobility.

If it is safe to do so, your chiropractor will likely begin your treatment that very same day.

This helps to prevent long-term pain that can often be associated with untreated whiplash injuries.


What Happens If Whiplash Is Left Untreated?

Most people who have whiplash feel better within a few weeks and don't seem to have any lasting effects from the injury.

However, some people continue to have pain for several months or years after the injury occurred, especially if their symptoms are ignored.

It is difficult to predict how each person with whiplash may recover, and that's why you should always see a chiropractor if you think there is a chance you have whiplash.

Here is an article that defines Long Term Effects of Whiplash after a Car Accident.

In general, you may be more likely to have chronic pain if your first symptoms were intense, started rapidly and included:

  • Severe neck pain
  • More-limited range of motion in the neck
  • Pain that spread to the arms

The following risk factors have been linked to a worse outcome:

  • Having had whiplash before
  • Older age
  • Existing low back or neck pain
  • A high-speed injury


Contact the Best Whiplash Chiropractor in Georgia 

 When you sustain a whiplash injury after an accident, it's important to seek the help of an experienced chiropractor as soon as you can. 

Having your injury assessed and treated the same day the accident occurs may prevent long-term chronic pain. 

The Chiropractors at Arrowhead Clinic specialize in treating the victims of whiplash injuries. 

When you come to our clinic, you will receive a thorough exam by the doctor to determine the best treatment plan for your recovery. 

It is our goal to help you return to your normal daily routine as quickly as possible. 

We offer free consultations to whiplash injury victims. This gives us a chance to talk to you regarding your accident, and to determine how we can best assist with your recovery. 

Click the banner now to speak with one of our experienced Whiplash Injury Chiropractors today.

Free Chiropractic Consultation | Arrowhead Clinic


Original blog article written here.

Topics: atlanta whiplash doctor