What happens in the body during a whiplash injury?
Many things happen in the body during whiplash:
- The impact can stretch and tear the muscles and ligaments that support the spine.
- If the damage is serious the discs can swell, rupture or tear.
- The range and motion of vertebrae can be lost.
- Irritation and stretching of the spinal cord and nerve roots.
The throwing backwards and forwards of the head can result in stiffness of the neck, vertigo, headaches and blurred vision, nausea, numbness and tingling and debilitating pain. In acute whiplash, the symptoms might not appear immediately, due to the shock of the accident. They may appear at their peak however, as the pain sets in and the body begins to cope with the shock.
Soon after the accident happens you should be checked by a doctor for whiplash injuries even if you believe the symptoms are not all that severe. The reason for this is that it can take weeks, months or days for the extent of the injury to appear. Early diagnosis and treatment will limit the pain and the time it takes for you to recover.