6 min read

What are Longterm Effects of Untreated Whiplash?

By Accident Injury Team on Jan 12, 2021 12:47:39 PM

Topics: whiplash

The Negative Impact of untreated Whiplash

Were you involved in an auto accident and suffering from Whiplash?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to suffering during a car accident. Whiplash is the jerking motion of your neck, often stretching beyond the normal range of motion, which can cause soft tissue damage.

This will impact your ligaments, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues.

Unfortunately, whiplash injuries are often dismissed as simply minor injuries or an ache that will go away on its own. However, this ill-advised dismissal can lead to severe complications down the road.

If you were involved in an auto accident, regardless of how you feel immediately after the collision, it is imperative that you seek medical attention from a doctor or chiropractor.

Keep reading to learn more about the negative effects of untreated whiplash.

What Is Whiplash?

Untreated Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash is a soft tissue neck injury resulting from forceful, rapid neck movement, imitating the cracking of a whip.

This motion is where the injury gets its name.

The most common auto accident that leads to whiplash are rear-end collisions, however, the injury can result from sport injuries, physical abuse, and other neck and head trauma.

Even blunt trauma to the head is known to cause soft tissue injuries like whiplash.

Common whiplash symptoms include:

  • neck stiffness
  • soreness
  • pain
  • loss of range
  • recurring headaches
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

If you start feeling soreness in your shoulders, neck, or pain in your neck. it could be a sign of whiplash. Thankfully, most auto accident victims will get better if they follow their injury with a chiropractic treatment.

However, if the whiplash is left untreated, chronic neck pain and serious complications are a serious possibility. This can impact overall day-to-day life.

Important note: Whiplash can result from consistent jerking neck movement and intensive neck strain.

If your work involves awkward neck movement or quick head or neck alignment changes, you are more likely to suffer whiplash in an accident injury.

It is common for the adrenaline rush that occurs during an accident to mask pain, which means there are many victims who do not feel injured after the accident at all.

After several hours, or even a few days in some cases, the victim may begin to notice common signs of whiplash. 

  • Neck Pain that radiates through the back and upper shoulder area. 
  • Pain that is accompanied by swelling, stiffness, and a significant reduced range of motion. 
  • Ringing, static, hissing, or humming noises are heard in the ears. 
  • Headaches or uncomfortable pain at the base of the skull. 
  • Dizziness or feeling as if the world is spinning  

Unless the accident victim is seen by a medical professional, such as a chiropractor, they are very likely to experience chronic pain and long-term effects. 

Can Whiplash Symptoms Worsen Over Time?

Neck pain and overall stiffness from a whiplash injury is commonly worse the day after the injury and may continue to get worse for several days afterward if it's left untreated.

However, some people with whiplash do experience symptoms like headaches for years following their accident.

Doctors may be able to trace this pain to damaged discs, neck joints, tendons, and ligaments. Unfortunately, chronic pain following a whiplash injury typically has no medical explanation.

The good news is that very few people end up suffering chronic pain due to whiplash.

Usually, recovery time is anywhere from a few days to several weeks, with most people recovering fully within three months. This is especially true if you receive exceptional whiplash care.

Whiplash is typically short-lived and self-limiting if you receive care quickly after an accident, but in a small percentage of people, symptoms persist beyond six months when the condition becomes chronic.

Untreated Whiplash

Untreated Whiplash

Whiplash injuries are known for not presenting symptoms until hours, or even days, after an accident occurs. This natural delay often leads injured folks to put off medical treatment which is a massive mistake.

Because whiplash is a  soft tissue injury and not a bone fracture, it also does not always clearly show up on x-rays , MRI scans, or CT scans. 

This does not mean that whiplash should be dismissed.

On the other hand,, the effects of untreated whiplash are capable of producing severely painful symptoms that make your normal range of motion completely impossible. 

Additional effects of untreated whiplash can include contributing to Degenerative Disc Disease–a painful condition that occurs when discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column deteriorate or break down, leading to discomfort, numbness, and weakness.

If you let your whiplash go untreated, chances are you will require physical therapy, trigger point injectors, medications, foam collars, and continual chiropractic care.

Many victims of suffering from the effects of untreated whiplash will require physical therapy, foam collars, medications, trigger point injectors, and ongoing chiropractic care. 

Side Effects of Whiplash

Soft tissue injuries can take time and chiropractic care to full alleviate, and the longer treatment is put off, the higher chance you'll suffer a longterm whiplash symptom, such as any of the following:

Stiffness and Loss of Motion: You will likely feel excruciating pain when moving your neck after an untreated whiplash injury. This lack of motion often results in overall stiffness and improper muscle healing, which can limit your range of motion.

Sleeping Difficulties: It's tough to sleep in pain with a hurt neck. It can turn getting a good night's sleep into an unbearable challenge, thus lowering your energy for days and weeks.

Headaches and Migraines: Whiplash and neck pain has a tendency to cause intense headaches. These can last for days at a time, completely debilitating you and making day-to-day life impossible.

Dizziness and Vertigo: The impingement of the neck synapses that communicate to the brain can cause dizzy spells that often lead victims to experience vertigo and cause the victims to fall when they normally would not, along with intense feelings of nausea. 

Tinnitus: Untreated whiplash can cause persistent buzzing and ringing in the ears known as tinnitus. This condition can cause victims to have quite a difficult time sleeping and focusing on daily tasks.

Depression and Anxiety: If you're suffering from the above side-effects, chances are it is negatively impacting your day-to-day life. That means interfering with your sleep, hobbies, career, and time with your loved ones. This can lead to long-term depression and anxiety, feeling like your injury is holding your life hostage.

Get the best Whiplash Treatment 

Chiropractic Care for whiplash

When you're involved in an auto accident, or similar accident injury situation, regardless of how you immediately feel it is imperative that you receive exceptional care from a Whiplash Chiropractor.

There are many excellent chiropractors in the world, but if you are injured in an accident near Arlington, VA, you need to contact Jefferson Spine and Injury Center.

Jefferson Spine and Injury Center has a team of certified and experienced auto accident chiropractors that specialize in treating car accident injuries like whiplash.

After reading the dangers of avoiding treatment, we sincerely hope you will consider opting in for whiplash treatment. The chronic pain you'll suffer is completely unnecessary. There is no reason to put off treatment after an accident injury.

Even if there is no evidence of whiplash, you'll have the peace of mind knowing you will not experience future symptoms.

Stressed about medical bills? Jefferson Spine and Injury Center directly bills third (3rd) party auto insurance claims. That means you could receive no-cost injury care.

If you were involved in a Car Accident, there is a good chance you are suffering from a Whiplash injury. Do not put off treatment until something bad happens.

Let our experienced and certified chiropractic doctors diagnose and treat your whiplash injury before it turns into chronic pain.

Click below to schedule a Free Whiplash Injury Evaluation with the best Arlington, Va Chiropractors.

Whiplash Effects Longterm