Auto accidents can cause a variety of injuries, but few are as elusive to diagnose as whiplash. The Mayo Clinic notes that many rear-end vehicle collisions cause whiplash, although any sudden jolt during such an impact may result in this injury.
Learning to identify the symptoms of whiplash may help victims of car accidents recognize when they need medical assistance in the aftermath, as the neck pain and discomfort associated with this issue may not appear right away.
Reduced range of neck motion
Whiplash can affect the neck muscles and spine in many ways, but one symptom that usually alerts victims to the problem is a reduced range of motion in the neck. This may mean only being able to turn the head so far or the inability to turn the head without pain. The neck may feel stiff, which makes turning the head during certain movements much more painful than before the accident.
Victims of whiplash may experience increased incidents of headaches in the days and weeks following an auto accident. These may come on suddenly and begin at the back or base of the neck. If the pain of a headache becomes persistent, those experiencing this problem may want to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Dizziness and fatigue
Whiplash victims may experience unexplained tiredness and feel dizzy during certain activities, such as while playing sports or working a labor-intensive job. These spells may increase if the whiplash remains undiagnosed.
Individuals injured previously or who have medical conditions are generally more prone to painful symptoms as time goes on. This can cause pain to eventually spread throughout the body, limiting the range of motion and mobility in other areas.