SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Most whiplash symptoms develop within 24 hours of the injury and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches, most commonly at the base of the skull
- Blurred vision
Some people also experience:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Sleep disturbances
When to see a doctor
Contact your doctor promptly if:
- The pain spreads to your shoulders or arms
- It becomes painful to move your head
- You experience numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms
- NINDS whiplash information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/whiplash/whiplash.htm. Accessed Dec. 28, 2011.
- Villafuerte JA. Whiplash. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012:5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..C2009-0-38601-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&uniqId=291436269-101. Accessed Dec. 28, 2011.
- Bannister G, et al. Whiplash injury. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. 2009;91-B:845.
- Isaac Z, et al. Evaluation of the patient with neck pain and cervical spine disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 29, 2011.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Dec. 29, 2011.
- Hudgins TH, et al. Cervical sprain or strain. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/163314371-3/896420369/1678/8.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-4007-1..50007-9--cesec4_70. Accessed Dec. 29, 2011.
- Anderson BC, et al. Treatment of neck pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 29, 2011.
- Ho GWK, et al. Neck pain. In: South-Paul JE, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=8152464. Accessed Dec. 29, 2011.