Anyone who has ever experienced a kink or pain in their neck can likely attest to just how painful and disruptive it can be. The human neck is composed of a "long chain of bones, discs, muscles, and ligaments." Any injury or disruption in normal functioning to these vital parts can cause tremendous pain and severely inhibit normal physical activity and functioning.
For individuals who have been involved in a car accident, whiplash is one of the most common of all injuries suffered. When the human body is involved in a car accident, the force of a collision causes an individual’s body to thrust forward. If wearing a seat belt, an individual’s body is eventually stopped and prevented from ejection, however, a person's head often thrusts violently backward and forward several times.Whiplash occurs when one or more components within the neck are injured and damaged. An injury may affect the facet joints, discs, muscles, or nerves within the neck region. Whiplash injuries are extremely common after motor vehicle accidents and, if not promptly diagnosed and treated, can result in an individual suffering additional and permanent damage and chronic pain.
The actual neck pain commonly associated with whiplash may take days or weeks to set in. In the immediate wake of a car accident, symptoms that may be indicative of a whiplash injury include headaches, arm pain, low back pain and problems concentrating and short-term memory loss.
Car accident survivors who believe they may have suffered an injury to the neck region should see a doctor. Recovery from whiplash typically takes six to 10 weeks. Treatments that may be effective in treating whiplash injuries include isolation of muscles, strength training, and surgery. Additionally, a doctor can prescribe medications to help ease the physical pain associated with a neck injury.
Source: Know Your Back, "Whiplash and whiplash-associated disorder," July 1, 2015