Some injuries are obvious after a Tennessee motor vehicle accident, but sometimes after a rear end accident, a person may not suffer any apparent pain or discomfort. That does not mean a person who has suffered a quick back-and-forth motion of the neck might not exhibit neck pain or headaches later on. If this occurs, it could be a sign the person has whiplash.
The Mayo Clinic explains that whiplash may show up at varying times. Usually, whiplash manifests within a day after an accident or injury. In some cases though, whiplash may develop at a later date, perhaps days or longer after the incident which caused the whiplash. When whiplash does occur, symptoms develop in the neck, head, or the shoulders.
A person with whiplash will likely experience neck pain, which may worsen if the person turns the neck. Whiplash can also stiffen the neck and make neck movement difficult. Whiplash might produce headaches which could turn chronic after a while. Some whiplash victims feel fatigued and suffer from dizziness, or feel a tingling or numbness in the arms.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that a person should see a doctor if these signs appear. It is possible that the incident which caused the whiplash may have broken bones or damaged tissue. Jerking motions that create whiplash may injure nerves, muscles, ligaments, bones in the spine or spinal disks. Doctors can rule these possibilities out or alert the patient to the internal damage.
There is no set time for whiplash to heal. WebMD points out that most people will recover within a few days. But if the whiplash was serious enough, a person may need weeks or even longer to heal. Whiplash patients should also not rush their recovery. Trying to move the neck before it is fully healed may result in chronic pain and permanent neck injury.