After a car accident, it is normal to experience shock and anxiety. The adrenaline following an accident can mask serious injuries. In fact, you may not notice some injuries for 24 hours following the wreck. One of these injuries is most commonly associated with car accidents: Whiplash. 

Whiplash occurs when the neck moves rapidly and forcibly back and forth, similarly to cracking a whip. Normally, whiplash is most common in rear-end accidents. Other names for whiplash, according to Mayo Clinic, include neck sprain or strain. 

If you have whiplash, the symptoms may occur within a 24-hour period. This is not always the case, however. There are some typical symptoms that occur with whiplash. Common symptoms include: 

  • Neck pain 
  • Tingling or arm numbness 
  • Headaches 
  • Fatigue 
  • Pain with neck movement 
  • Shoulder tenderness 

Of course, there may be other symptoms that you experience when you have neck strain. These less common symptoms include blurred vision, irritability, tinnitus and memory problems. If you feel any soreness in your neck or any symptoms outside of the normal following your accident, it is important to have a diagnosis. Broken bones and tissue damage may make the whiplash worse and so it is crucial that you receive medical attention. 

With treatment, most people heal within a few weeks. Unfortunately, more severe whiplash can take months to years to recover. It may be difficult to tell how serious your injury is without the help of a medical professional. If you have any of the above symptoms following a car accident, you should see a doctor for a diagnosis as soon as possible.