Whiplash is a neck injury due to sudden head movement, and it typically gets better within two to three months. The condition often occurs due to a fall or a slip.
The chances of developing whiplash are high after a traffic accident. The common symptoms are:
- Neck stiffness and difficulties in moving your head
- Neck pain
- Muscle spasms and pain in the arms and shoulders.
It can take multiple hours for the symptoms to begin after your neck injury.
- Take painkillers like paracetamol to ease the pain.
- Try and continue your everyday activities; it may hurt a bit but will speed up the healing process.
- Avoid using a collar or neck brace for neck support.
- Don’t rest your neck for a long period.
Consult a doctor if
- You have severe pain despite taking a paracetamol
- You feel tingling on one or both sides of your body
- You have problems sitting upright or walking
- You feel a sudden electric shock in your back or neck, which might also lead to your arms and legs
- Your legs or arms feel weak
These symptoms can damage the nerves in your back or neck.
The doctor might prescribe stronger painkillers, and if your symptoms don’t get better in a few weeks, they might refer you to:
- A physiotherapist
- A pain specialist
- A psychologist for support
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022