Whiplash is a common injury that can cause pain and discomfort for weeks, months, or even years after the initial injury. Most people who suffer from whiplash experience an improvement in their condition within a few weeks or months, but for those who do not seek treatment, chronic pain and discomfort may persist for a long time. In some cases, the pain and restraint of a whiplash injury can last for years or even a lifetime. The most common problem associated with whiplash is severe neck pain, followed by ongoing headaches.
Psychological problems such as depression are also common when neck pain persists beyond three months. To reduce the risk of developing whiplash-related disorders, it is important to seek prompt and appropriate treatment for whiplash. Cervicogenic dizziness is another common symptom of whiplash, occurring in up to 80-90% of all cases. This condition is caused by the head moving back and forth during the injury, resulting in the brain bouncing against the side of the skull and damaging brain cells.
This can lead to a concussion, which can cause headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating if left untreated. Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks if they follow a treatment plan that includes pain medications and exercise. Doctors often use terms such as “cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD)”, disorders associated with whiplash (WAD) or chronic whiplash syndrome to describe the effects of whiplash on the anatomy of the neck and surrounding areas, as well as to the inflammatory responses of the bodies of some people faced with the initial injury. Unfortunately, misconceptions about whiplash have helped fuel some unfortunate stereotypes and stigmas surrounding this type of injury.