Delayed Signs of Whiplash to Look Out for After an Accident

Whiplash is an incredibly common condition among car accident victims. What people don’t always realize is that symptoms of whiplash don’t always show up right away. In fact, there are delayed signs of whiplash to look out for after an accident. You may be more aware of any aches or pains you experience after a car accident anyway, but certain symptoms can be a sign that you may have whiplash. Visit a car accident chiropractor to learn more about whether your pain and other symptoms will require whiplash treatment sooner rather than later. A car accident chiropractor can diagnose your whiplash injury, though it helps if you can recognize the delayed signs and symptoms so you can get the care you need. If you have never experienced whiplash before, continue reading to learn more about delayed signs of whiplash to look out for after an accident.

Why a Car Accident Can Cause Delayed Symptoms

You may not experience pain or other symptoms of an injury right away after a car accident for a number of reasons. The first is because of the adrenaline coursing through your body. When you experience a sudden or traumatic event, your body may respond by boosting you with adrenaline that can help you function better at the moment. However, adrenaline can also mask pain and other immediate symptoms of discomfort. Similarly, you may experience shock after a traumatic event like a car accident. This response can also prevent you from recognizing the signs and symptoms of an injury right away. Car accident injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system can cause swelling and inflammation that can gradually increase, which can also cause your pain to gradually increase as well.

Common Delayed Symptoms with Whiplash

A whiplash injury occurs upon impact, but it could take hours or even days for you to fully experience the symptoms. Many people experience general soreness after a car accident, but certain types of pain and their severity can determine whether you are suffering from an injury caused by the force of impact during the wreck as well. Here are some of the common delayed symptoms of a whiplash injury:

Neck Pain

You might be surprised to learn that it may take hours or days to start noticing neck pain with a whiplash injury. When the force of impact causes your head and neck to snap forward and backward violently, it can put a significant amount of strain on your spine and muscles that support your head and neck. As swelling and inflammation set in, this can cause pain and discomfort. You may also experience neck pain that feels like a throbbing sensation.

Stiff, Sore Muscles

Stiff, sore muscles are also common after a car accident. However, similar to learning a new workout, you might not really feel the full effects until the next day. When your muscles become stiff, they can make certain movements more uncomfortable. Many people with a whiplash injury report difficulty turning their heads in certain directions, like side to side or up and down. A whiplash injury can also cause stiff, sore muscles in the upper back.


Headaches can be a sign of many different injuries after a car accident, including whiplash. Some people don’t experience headaches right away, and instead, the pain starts to settle in after you’ve had a chance to settle down after the accident. Headaches are common with the shock and stress of being in an accident, but they can also be signs of something more serious going on.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Whiplash

Delayed symptoms after a car accident mean that you could go for days without getting the care you need for your injuries. That’s why we always recommend you visit a car accident chiropractor as soon as possible after you’ve been in a wreck. While you might not be experiencing symptoms yet, car accident chiropractors can assess you for potential injuries and get you started on whiplash treatment. The sooner you start getting the care you need, the more effective your treatment outcome will be. Whiplash treatment addresses your pain, stiffness, soreness, headaches, and other symptoms you might be experiencing. Your car accident chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that addresses your specific symptoms of whiplash so that you can experience relief and a full recovery.

Visit a car accident chiropractor at Affordable Chiropractic Killeen after you’ve been in an accident and find out whether or not you have whiplash or another common injury.

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