Whiplash is a common injury after motor vehicle collisions, and it does not receive the respect that it deserves from the general public. Despite the condition affecting people’s strength and causing pain, people often dismiss it as negligible.
Most people with whiplash will have minor symptoms that resolve on their own within a few weeks or a few months. However, some people with whiplash will have more severe symptoms that could lead to long-term issues. How does whiplash impact the long-term health of someone after a car crash?
Whiplash can limit function, range of motion and quality of life
Whiplash causes pain, sometimes right after a crash or even the next day. People feel tightness or pain in their necks, backs and shoulders. They may not be able to turn or bend their neck. Overall symptoms of fatigue and dizziness can also occur. In some cases, people report blurry vision, mood and memory issues and even ringing in their ears.
The pain, muscular tightness and limited mobility could continue for months, sometimes even when there isn’t a visible injury that shows up on modern testing systems. Chronic pain tends to impact people’s sleep, mental health, family relationships and job performance.
Can whiplash lead to other conditions?
Some people who have long-term symptoms from whiplash may worry about developing secondary conditions like osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis. There is no medical evidence linking long-term whiplash to other serious spinal conditions, but that doesn’t mean whiplash won’t impact your life.
Significant pain, stiffness and functional limitations can impact whether you can return to work or even your quality of life. Those who can’t shower without assistance or sleep without medication may have extensive costs stemming from their whiplash.
Getting an accurate diagnosis and medical support can help those struggling with whiplash symptoms after a car crash.