Open Accessibility Menu

How to Identify and Treat Symptoms of Whiplash

  • Category: Blog
  • Posted On:
How to Identify and Treat Symptoms of Whiplash

Rear-end car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash; but other things like sports or physical abuse can also cause whiplash. Whiplash is the most well-known term for this type of neck strain.

Whiplash can range from mild to severe, and the symptoms may differ for each person. There are some common whiplash symptoms to watch out for that may indicate you need medical treatment.

Whiplash Symptoms

Some people feel pain right away after an accident or impact, but others do not feel any symptoms for a day or two. Pain is a typical symptom of whiplash. You may also notice the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness and headache that starts at the base of the skull.
  • Fatigue or irritability.
  • Loss of range of movement.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Neck stiffness and pain.
  • Tenderness, tingling or numbness in the arms and hands.
  • Unusual burning or prickling sensations.

Less common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Depression.
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory problems.
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
  • Sleeplessness.


Complications of Whiplash

Some factors can make your whiplash condition more complex. You are more at risk of whiplash if you are older, have had whiplash before, or already have a back or neck injury.

Many people suffer a traumatic brain injury or concussion from the same accident that caused whiplash. A head injury can add symptoms and cause you to be in more pain. It can also mean your injury may be severe and require medical attention. You should seek emergency care if you feel:

  • Dizziness and nausea.
  • Excessive sleepiness or unconsciousness.
  • Extreme confusion.
  • Headache that continues for days or worsens.

How To Diagnose Whiplash

Your doctor will perform an exam and ask you about your symptoms. After gathering this information, the medical staff may recommend diagnostic tests. The most common tests are X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. These tests can help doctors look for any soft tissue damage and check for more severe injuries. In the most serious cases of whiplash, you can fracture a vertebra or suffer a spinal injury.

How To Treat Whiplash

You can do many things to ease your whiplash symptoms at home. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with pain and swelling. Ice can also bring comfort in the first few days. Wrap the ice pack in a thin cover and only use it for short periods to prevent skin damage. After a few days moist heat can also provide pain relief.

Your doctor may advise you to do gentle exercises or physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. You may need prescription muscle relaxers or more intensive whiplash treatment for more severe symptoms. In rare cases, you may need spinal surgery to correct damage to vertebrae or the spinal cord.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care

Get Whiplash Symptoms Evaluated at ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care provides patients with quality care and services. Staff are ER-trained to determine patient conditions, and patients only pay for the level of service they receive - either ER or urgent care. The emergency department is open 24/7 and the urgent care clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. You don't need an appointment. All walk-ins are welcome.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care is located at 1075 Medical Center Parkway, Maumee, OH 43537.