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The Dangers of Untreated Whiplash After an Accident – FAQ

Though whiplash is a common accident injury, many patients decide to live through the pain because they think that their neck injury is mild or believe that their symptoms are not severe enough to warrant a visit to a doctor. 

But the problem with not getting treated for whiplash following an accident comes down to this—the trauma caused by even mild whiplash can cause long-lasting pain, headaches, and other symptoms. 

Our therapy team at Impact Med Wesley Chapel discusses what you need to know about untreated whiplash. Bottom line: If you are in an accident and have neck pain, come visit our clinic! 

What is Whiplash? 

Whiplash occurs when your neck is forced into a rapid back and forth motion suddenly during a crash, most often a crash with rear-end impact. 

Because the muscles and soft tissues in your neck are damaged when this happens, you may develop neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches. In severe cases of whiplash, your vertebrae may be damaged, and you might experience memory loss. 

Symptoms of whiplash can appear immediately, or they may take time to develop. Even if you feel fine following an accident, it is always wise to visit a doctor for a check-up. 

Whiplash Associated Conditions 

It is estimated that 30-50% of people who experience whiplash will develop persistent whiplash-associated conditions. This means that you may have ongoing symptoms if you don’t get your whiplash treated such as:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • TMJ pain
  • Hypersensitivity to heat or cold
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Memory problems 
  • Poor concentration
  • Tingling or prickly sensations in your hands and arms 

Severe neck pain is the most common problem that may develop, followed by ongoing headaches. Depression is also common when neck and head pain persists beyond three months. 

You can lower your risk of developing the above whiplash-associated conditions with prompt treatment following your accident. If you suffer from chronic neck pain due to untreated whiplash, our chiropractic and physical therapy teams at Impact Med Wesley Chapel can create a customized treatment plan to relieve your symptoms. 

Keep Reading> 6 Reasons You Should See a Chiropractor After a Crash 


When you experience whiplash during an accident, your brain bounces against the side of your skull, causing damage to brain cells. Thus, a concussion can develop. 

You might write off the headache you feel following an accident as stress or mild whiplash that you can treat on your own, a headache is also a symptom of a concussion, which must be treated by a doctor. 

When you seek medical care following an accident, your doctor will check you for signs of whiplash and a concussion. 

If you do not seek treatment, your concussion may worsen causing problems that can last for months including dizziness, headaches, and trouble concentrating. 

Related Reading> Physical Therapy for Post-Accident Vertigo 

Limited Neck Movement 

When the soft tissues that support your neck are damaged and you hold off on seeking treatment, inflammation and scarring can develop which in turn can severely limit your neck’s range of motion. 

If left untreated, this can become a chronic pain issue and you might lose muscle strength in your neck. 

Balance and Dizziness 

Your neck plays a critical role in your overall balance, as nerve signals from your neck help maintain equilibrium throughout your body. The trauma of a whiplash injury can compress these nerves in your neck, causing dizziness and a loss of balance. 

This loss of balance and dizziness is called cervicogenic dizziness and occurs in up to 80-90% of whiplash cases. Without treatment for whiplash, you won’t know that the nerves in your neck sustained serious trauma. 

Treating Whiplash 

Regardless of how you may feel following an accident, seek medical care as soon as possible. A chiropractor or physical therapist can help you recover if you have suffered whiplash. 

When you visit Impact Med Wesley Chapel, we will perform an in-depth examination to determine the extent of your injuries, if any. Once complete, if you have whiplash or other injuries, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your recovery needs. 

Every case of whiplash is different, and each patient will receive customized care to ensure that they begin the road to recover and prevent lasting pain or whiplash-associated conditions. 

Been in a Car Accident? Visit Impact Med Wesley Chapel 

If you were involved in a car accident, there is a good chance that you could have whiplash. Don’t put off treatment! Let our experienced chiropractic and physical therapy team at Impact Med Wesley Chapel treat your whiplash injury before it has the chance to cause chronic long-lasting pain. 

Whiplash pain? Get relief and recover with Impact Med Wesley Chapel—813-953-1002!