Why Are Whiplash Symptoms Delayed?

Whiplash symptoms may not present within the first 24-hours of an incident. Some patients don’t experience whiplash symptoms until days after the accidents. This delay can cause confusion and even a misdiagnosis.

When your body experiences an impact significant enough to cause whiplash, it is important to pay attention to any pain or discomfort in your neck, back, or shoulder area. Whiplash can also cause hand pain, dizziness, fatigue, and more.

Here is what you need to know about the delayed symptoms of whiplash.


1. Do not dismiss delayed whiplash symptoms because they are not typical.

No two injuries are alike. There is a wide variety of symptoms that your body uses to tell you about the damage to your neck.

Your spine is the communication network for your body. When it is damaged, it is easy for things to be miscommunicated. Your neck is injured, but your hand is where the pain has presented. Most whiplash injuries cause pain in the upper back and/or neck. Whiplash patients have also experienced seemingly unrelated symptoms like difficulty sleeping or concentrating.  


2. Pay attention to any symptoms you experience after an impact.

Walking away from a car accident or an over-zealous sledding trick does not mean you are clear of injuries. Whiplash symptoms often don’t present until 24 hours after the damage has occurred.

Take it easy. Not all of us like to slow down, and not everyone is comfortable asking for assistance. Your injury has made it essential to do both of those things. Let someone know you’ve been in an accident, even if it was just a fender-bender, and take the next 24 hours off.

They will know to check-in with you during your recovery. This could save your life.


3. Get ready to have patience while healing from your whiplash.

There is no one-treatment-fits-all solution when it comes to spinal injuries. One thing is fairly consistent; while your whiplash heals you will need to take it easy.  

You don’t need to put your whole life on hold — most of us couldn’t do that anyways. Talk with your doctor about movements or strains you need to avoid. The easier you take it the faster you will make it to having a complete recovery.