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Whiplash Injury: What Are Long-Term Effects Of Leaving It Untreated?

The Consequences Of An Untreated Whiplash Injury

Many people see whiplash as a minor injury that commonly happens after car accidents, but it’s actually a significant injury that shouldn’t be ignored. If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s imperative to seek out professional medical care immediately because untreated whiplash can have long-term negative effects on your health. Effective treatment for whiplash is not a one-size-fits-all program, and rest alone is usually not enough to fully recover. Your exact treatment plan and timeframe for recovery will depend on the severity of your injuries. You may need to work with a medical doctor, a physical therapist, and an Avondale auto accident chiropractor to find complete relief.

Whiplash Injury

What Is Whiplash

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that is caused by the forceful, rapid neck movement that happens in situations such as car accidents, playing sports, physical abuse, and other types of head or neck trauma. 

The most common symptoms of whiplash include neck stiffness, tingling sensations, soreness, pain, and recurring headaches. If you start feeling pain or soreness in your neck, shoulders, or back after a car accident, you may have whiplash. In most cases, whiplash will get better within a few weeks. But in other cases, whiplash can cause chronic neck pain and long-lasting complications that negatively affect a person’s health and quality of life. Whiplash is a common injury after car accidents and is generally treated by a combination of Chandler car accident doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists.

But I Feel Fine!

The adrenaline rush and shock that frequently occur during a car accident can prevent you from feeling pain immediately after the collision, so whiplash symptoms may not appear until hours, days, or even weeks after the accident. If you begin to experience soreness, pain, or other uncomfortable symptoms in your head, neck, or back after your car accident, it’s important to seek medical care with a physical therapist or chiropractor right away. Even if you feel fine and are not displaying symptoms after your car accidents, it’s still smart to get Gilbert auto accident medical care to check for injuries such as whiplash and to prevent chronic pain or dysfunction.

What Are The Long-term Effects Of Untreated Whiplash?

Leaving whiplash untreated can result in significant and negative health conditions, which includes long-term pain. Muscles or tendons in your neck that were either torn or overextended during the accident can lead to a limited range of motion while simultaneously placing undue pressure and stress on your neck, head, shoulders, and spine. Whiplash can also affect your spine and brainstem. If left untreated, any of these symptoms can result in discomfort or chronic pain that can be debilitating. Each whiplash injury is unique and will require its own treatment plan, so it’s important to work with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a Mesa car accident chiropractor, as soon as you begin to experience symptoms.

Chronic Pain

Untreated whiplash increases the risk of chronic pain, which can persist for years after the car accident. Neck muscles that are torn or strained as a result of the accident will need time and care to repair correctly, and overexertion during the healing phase can result in pain, soreness, and difficulty performing normal tasks or movement.

Mobility Issues

The pain and stiffness that results from whiplash can cause reduced mobility of varying severity. In many cases, the swelling and inflammation from whiplash can prevent you from performing work or daily life duties, eventually leading to migraines, headaches, and shoulder pain. A Phoenix car accident chiropractor can provide treatment to restore mobility and prevent unnecessary pain, which may include adjustments, physical therapy, massage therapy, and other exercises.


Sensations of dizziness, falling, or spinning can make you feel sick and become debilitating. Vertigo can also leave you at risk of losing your balance or falling. Whiplash causes misalignment in the cervical spine and causes dizziness or vertigo in the majority of cases. Chiropractic care and physical therapy can provide relief. 

Persistent Headaches

A common problem after whiplash injuries, headaches may occur immediately after the injury or weeks later, and may continue to worsen if the injury is left untreated. Headaches may be accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms such as weakness, difficulty speaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and other neurological symptoms.

Vertebrae Misalignment

Whiplash causes subluxations in the upper cervical spine which can cause pain, limit your range of motion, negatively affect your posture, and cause damage to your vertebrae, along with inhibiting communication from the brain to the body. Adjustments from Queen Creek emergency car accident chiropractors can help relieve this condition and its associated symptoms.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Whiplash that is untreated can contribute to a serious condition called degenerative disc disease, in which the discs between the vertebrae begin to deteriorate, leading to pain, weakness, and numbness in multiple areas of the body. This condition is difficult to treat and can result in life-long pain or mobility issues.

Treat Whiplash Immediately With Experienced Medical Care

If you’re experiencing symptoms of whiplash, don’t delay. Get help right away from a trusted chiropractor, medical doctor, or physical therapist when you contact AZ Crash Doctors. We are dedicated to helping you work toward the best possible outcome after your car accident by connecting you to legal help and experienced medical care. Our network of experienced healthcare providers are ready to help you relieve pain, restore range of motion, and get you back to health. Contact us today to get started!


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18477 S 186th Way #101
Queen Creek, AZ 85142

Tel: 480-618-680

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Crash Doctors is available 7 days a week. Submit the form below or call us at (480)-299-4655 to request a free consultation.

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Crash Doctors are available 7 days a week. Submit the form below or call us at (480)-299-4655 to speak to an AZ Crash Doctor now.