Have you recently been in an automotive accident? If so, walking away with whiplash is a very real possibility. For those that don’t know, whiplash is caused by your head being whipped quickly back and forth or rapidly being thrown from side to side. 

Do not leave this alone, you can suffer from long term damage resulting in pain and possible disability. If you have any or all of the following signs, it’s strongly recommended to seek out neck and back physical therapy to get you feeling back to normal as quickly as possible. 

Neck Pain

If you aren’t feeling any pain right after the crash, that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet. Typically the pain from whiplash isn’t felt until hours after an accident. The mix of both shock and adrenaline might mask the pain at first and any bruising will take time to develop. 

In the following hours and days, bruising and inflammation can occur as well as pain in the neck and shoulders. If this pain persists past a few days, and doesn’t seem treated by over-the-counter options, it’s very likely wishlash.


Losing the ability to move your neck from side-to-side or a reduced range of motion are other signs of serious whiplash. Stiffness happens when muscles, tendons, and ligaments are either strained or sprained. If this is left untreated you can be left with that limited range of motion for the rest of your life. 

Lingering Headaches

Headaches can be common for a number of reasons so one headache alone might not be cause for panic but if they become a recurring issue, and that’s something you’ve never had before, it may be a result of wishlash. 

Another sign to look out for are headaches that specifically start at the base of the neck where the pain moves outward. When starting therapy, let your doctor know exactly where the pain starts and how intense it is. 

In addition to the headaches, accompanying and similar signs are a general brian fog and a moodiness. This can lead to trouble remembering, in increased anxiousness and irritability. These can also be signs of a concussion on top of possible whiplash.


If there’s damage done to the neck, it’s possible to have a dizziness as if you just stepped off a ride at an amusement park. This is a result from damage to the neck and without the proper treatment, this vertigo can be a long lasting side effect from your car accident.


Think of the pins and needles feeling in your arms and hands. This isn’t the most common symptom of whiplash but it’s still something that’s very possible. Numbness can be caused from a pinched nerve, misaligned discs in your spine, or severed nerves. 

The tingling feeling can often be overlooked when trying to self-determine if you are suffering from wishlash but it is not something that should be overlooked when considering whether or not to get therapy for your injuries.