Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are forced past their normal range of motion in a car accident.

Unfortunately, whiplash is a common injury among those involved in Sacramento-area car accidents. Even a collision occurring at a relatively low speed can cause whiplash.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Some individuals who suffer from whiplash feel only a little discomfort, while others may be in severe pain and experience other symptoms including:

Neck pain

This is often a result of swelling. When ligaments, tendons, and muscles are over extended, swelling often results. In the case of some, neck pain may only be obvious when they try to move their head or neck.


A mild headache after a car accident may be expected, however a persistent headache may be a result of damage to an upper cervical disc. Medically this is referred to as a cervicogenic headache and it’s symptoms are similar to that of a migraine.

Should pain 

Recent estimates claim that 26% of those suffering from whiplash also suffer pain in their shoulder or between their shoulder blades. Of these, 5% suffer from impingement syndrome. This painful condition affects muscles in the rotator cuff of a person’s shoulder.


This symptom could range from a feeling of lightheadedness to vertigo, where you feel like the room is spinning. This may be a result of an interruption of normal blood flow through the neck.


This may be caused by chronic pain disturbing your sleep.

Arm pain

The pain or weakness in a whiplash patients arm may be caused by a nerve compression resulting from a herniated disc or a muscle spasm that occurred in the neck after the impact may cause referred pain and tingling to the arms.

Visual and Hearing Problems

Some car accident victims suffering from whiplash report having sensitivity to light or seeing spots of light. Ringing in the ears is also commonly reported.

Lower Back pain 

If a disc or a joint is injured it can radiate down to the lower back.

whiplash injury

What to do if you think you are suffering from whiplash:

Speak with a doctor as soon as possible. A prompt diagnosis is a vital step towards recovery. Treatment varies depending on the severity of your injury and the symptoms you are experiencing. However, it is common for treatment to be costly and long term. If the accident that caused your whiplash was not your fault you should also speak with an experienced attorney to help you recover the costs associated with your accident, including the costs of on-going treatment.

Call 916-457-5022 today to schedule a free and private consultation with an experienced Northern California whiplash attorney at law offices of Zappettini and Bradley.