If you’ve been in a rear-end car accident, you might think it was a small enough accident that you couldn’t possibly be injured. However, a general rule of thumb for car accident injuries is that if your car suffered any damage from the accident then your body likely did too. Even a small fender-bender can cause pain and discomfort that might be signs of a car accident injury. Visit a whiplash chiropractor and find out if you have whiplash, the most common of all car accident injuries.
You might wonder what whiplash feels like, especially if you think you are feeling okay initially after the accident. Whiplash is tricky because the symptoms can take hours and even days to fully set in. The stress and shock of a car accident can mask certain pain symptoms, and the adrenaline that courses through your body during an event like this can also prevent you from recognizing pain signals right away. A whiplash chiropractor can do a physical exam to see how your head, neck, and upper back may have been injured due to the accident.
Here are a few examples of what whiplash might feel like for you.
Headache Pain and Discomfort
Headaches after accidents are common and can be caused by the stress alone! However, headaches that last for a long time or seem to get worse in the hours or even days after the car accident are your body’s way of signaling that something isn’t quite right. While your upper body and trunk are held in place by the seat belt during an accident, nothing prevents your head and neck from getting shaken up during the event. This can cause headaches that linger for days as your head and neck react to the trauma. Some people experience headaches after a car accident that feel like migraines or cluster headaches, with a deep, throbbing that can really negatively impact your day.
Neck Pain and Soreness
Neck pain and soreness are quite common feelings after a car accident that led to a whiplash injury. When the force of the accident caused your head and neck to fling forward and backward violently, the muscles in your neck were likely strained and stretched out of their normal range of motion. When this happens, it can cause swelling, inflammation, and even tears in your neck muscles. At first, you might notice a little bit of neck pain and might think it’s something that will go away after an hour or so. However, strained and torn neck muscles can become more tender and sorer as the hours wear on. You might start to notice your neck feels tender and even warm to the touch.
Neck Stiffness and Poor Mobility
As your whiplash injury settles in, those muscles that were sore and swollen might start to become stiff. When we are in pain, we have a tendency to avoid using the area as much as possible. However, when that pain is in your muscles, avoiding movement can actually lead to stiffness, which can increase your pain. Sore, stiff neck muscles can make it extremely uncomfortable to turn your head from side to side or look around without feeling severe pain. This decrease in your neck mobility and range of motion is also a common feeling with a whiplash injury. Certain movements might make the pain feel worse and you might have trouble finding a comfortable way to lay your head at night, which can disrupt your sleep.
Fatigue and Poor Mood
Fatigue is common with many injuries because your body is busy fighting an injury, which uses up a lot of energy. A neck injury like whiplash can also disrupt your sleep because of how uncomfortable certain positions can be. The soreness and stiffness that settles in with whiplash can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Fitful nights of sleep can really start to add up, especially when you are trying to heal and recover from a painful, stressful experience like a car accident. You may also feel like you are in more of a bad mood than normal, which is not an uncommon reaction to the stresses of being in a car accident.
If you are looking for a whiplash chiropractor in Tucker, visit AICA Orthopedics and find out how our team of whiplash doctors can help you experience pain relief and start healing from your car accident injuries.