One of the most common soft tissue injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents is whiplash. Many people believe that whiplash is less serious than some other potential injuries, but the consequences associated with untreated whiplash can be very severe.

Understanding the symptoms and consequences of whiplash is paramount. According to FindLaw, whiplash most commonly happens in rear-end collision accidents and can cause serious permanent injury even at lower speeds.

What is whiplash? 

Whiplash is so common in rear-end collisions because the force from impact makes your head snap back and forth. In certain cases, medical professionals may refer to whiplash as a hyperextension injury, a cervical strain or a cervical sprain.

It is possible to suffer from whiplash and not recognize it right away. In fact, it is very common for whiplash symptoms to only appear well after the accident. In some cases, recovery can take as little as a couple of weeks, but in severe cases patients may be dealing with the consequences of whiplash permanently.

What are common signs of whiplash? 

The most common sign of minor whiplash is tightness and stiffness in your neck. If these are your only symptoms, it is possible that the whiplash will go away on its own. However, depending on how severe the whiplash is, you may experience back pain, dizziness, memory problems and difficulty concentrating.

Particularly if you are experiencing memory problems, getting immediate medical attention is important. You may need to work with a team of neurologists and chiropractors to address the situation. In certain cases, surgery may be necessary to regain mobility.