“Whiplash” is a generic name for a variety of injuries and symptoms that can follow from being struck in a rear-end collision. These injuries occur when the head is thrown suddenly and violently backward by the force of the impact.

The neck and upper spine contain neurological structures that are crucial to normal movement and brain function. If you’ve been struck in a rear-end collision, here are some signs you may have suffered whiplash.

1. Neck Pain and Stiffness

Tendons and ligaments can be strained or torn by sudden head movement. Even if no pain is felt immediately afterward, pain and stiffness can develop gradually due to inflammation or the misalignment of the neck bones and compression of nerves. If this is the case, any movement may only aggravate your injury. Misalignment can even threaten the spine itself. If you experience neck pain following a crash, it’s important to see a doctor for diagnosis.

2. Jaw Discomfort

It’s not something you’d normally associate with whiplash, but the muscles and tendons of the jaw are anchored to your skull. They can be torn or strained by whiplash-type events. If you feel numbness, tingling, or aches and pain in your jaw and facial muscles, this can make it difficult to chew food or even swallow. It can also contribute to headaches. If this sounds like one of your symptoms, it may be due to a recent collision.

3. Back Pain

Although it’s the head and neck that are most violently impacted, the sudden violence to the upper body can also cause back problems. Aches, pains, and stiffness may radiate from your shoulders down to your lower back and along your arms. If you have concerns about medical costs and permanent damage, you should contact a personal injury attorney to assess the situation and determine whether or not you’re entitled to compensation.

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4. Neurological Damage

The harsh impact can also cause problems with the nervous system via the spinal cord and possibly brain damage. Nervous shock is usually the first symptom. However, this can be followed by recurring dizziness, trouble concentrating, blurred vision, chronic fatigue, migraines, and memory loss. If you experience any of these signs following a read-end collision, you may have suffered damage to your central nervous system and require treatment.

A diagnosis of whiplash-related injuries requires careful examination by a physician. If you have any health concerns following a vehicle collision, it’s critical to get medical help right away.