Myths and Facts about Whiplash Injury

Almost everyone has heard of whiplash, but most people don’t know much about this type of injury. Whiplash occurs when a person’s head is thrown back and then forward by an impact. Most people immediately think of a rear-end auto accident but motor vehicle accidents are only one cause. In fact, similar symptoms can appear after an accident that causes a sudden shock to the upper body. The rapid back and forth movement stress nerves, tendons, and muscles to the point where various health issues appear. This common type of injury can be serious, but usually is not. Many types of pains can result from a serious jostling of the upper body. This article offers a non-technical introduction to whiplash fact and myth, with some information on how a law firm may be able to help you with your case. An attorney experienced in personal injuries or workplace injuries can help you.

Whiplash Signs and Symptoms

Any sudden and dramatic back-and-forth motion of the head can lead to a range of health issues, many of those issues are minor, and other times they indicate a serious injury. A whiplash victim may not be immediately aware of being injured because the pains and other complaints may be diverse and may have other causes. The symptoms of whiplash vary depending on exactly where the damage happened. Pain is the main symptom, and the only symptom most people associate with whiplash cases. Soreness can indicate other soft tissue injuries that occurred. Here are the symptoms of whiplash:

  • Pain in the arm, back, or other muscles
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Headaches and difficulty focusing
  • Sleep trouble may also come with whiplash
  • Tenderness, as well as pain
  • Muscle spasms


Finally, stiffness, a sensation of pins and needles poking the skin, and nerve damage may appear. Needless to say, these symptoms are common signs of other injuries. Neck pain alone can come from many sources. An injury to the neck and head can cause a variety of symptoms. While pain is the most common symptom of whiplash, the fact is, many nerve and muscle complaints can stem from a whiplash injury. The causes and consequences of whiplash injuries can be the subject of some myths.

Myths About Whiplash Injuries

The real facts about whiplash cases can be revealed by looking at some myths about this common type of injury.

Myth: Car accidents are the only significant cause of whiplash. This is not necessarily true, but this myth is based on fact – a car accident is probably the single most likely cause of whiplash.

Myth: Whiplash follows from a severe impact. This is not entirely wrong but still a bit of a myth. Research on motor vehicle accidents shows that 60% of these injuries happened in crashes at speeds slower than 12 mph. In other words, the standard 2.5 or 5 mph bumper will not protect you 100%. Another myth is that it takes a considerable amount of force to cause a neck injury. While a car accident is a common source of neck and shoulder injuries, car accidents are not the only situation where whiplash is a risk and only one of the ways that this injury can happen.

Myth: Whiplash needs a neck brace. This is an old trope from movies and television but the big neck brace is more of a myth. Whiplash may put someone in the hospital, but it probably won’t. In fact, the Mayo Clinic reports that whiplash is often treatable at home and will usually resolve itself in days or weeks.

It would be a myth to believe that serious whiplash injuries hurt more. In fact, you should not rely on pain alone to indicate whether a whiplash injury is serious or not.

The onset of whiplash pain may be quick. This is a myth. In fact, it may take 24 hours to a few days before pain, and other indications appear.

Finally, a seatbelt cannot 100% prevent injury. However, wearing a seatbelt is obviously a good idea.

Protecting You or a Loved One

Motor vehicle accidents are not the only way to get a whiplash injury but vehicle crashes are a common way for people to suffer this potentially serious injury. Contrary to what many people think, whiplash injuries are not just confined to the neck bones or soft tissues. Whether from a car accident or another mishap, a serious whiplash injury can severely impact the quality of life for you or your loved one. Whiplash may be one of the top causes for a personal injury claim. Whether from a car accident or another sort of accident, whiplash symptoms can range from mild soft tissue injury you can treat at home, to severe damage that requires physical therapy and drugs to treat.

Whiplash Injury Treatment in Longview, WA

Neck and shoulder injuries may range from mild to severe. Often the problems an injury causes may be treated with nothing more intense than over-the-counter pain medication and ice. Applying heat may help as well. In potentially serious cases, a doctor may use x rays to evaluate the victim but usually, this is not the case. The recovery process for most whiplash victims is short and simple. However, sometimes whiplash injuries require physical therapy and prescription medications, while injections may be needed in others. Medical imaging may be used to evaluate serious injuries. If a whiplash injury requires physical therapy, including chiropractic care, contact our friendly team at Family Chiropractic Care and schedule an appointment today.

Our licensed chiropractic practitioner, Dr. Still, has been treating patients for over 34 years and is dedicated to helping patients find long-lasting relief from pain and other issues, including whiplash injury. Dial (360) 636-2636 to discuss the treatment you need for a pain-free life.