How do I know If I have Whiplash?

Do I have Whiplash?

Back when my girls were younger and rode the bus; not a week or even a day, went by without someone blowing past the bus. I wrote down or snapped pics of license plates. Called State Police and Sheriff, even the 1-800-howsmydriving numbers on the back of the perp’s cars. I even sat wondering how can they miss the flashing reds. Now as the preferred provider and examiner for Harford County Public Schools Transportation Department, I still have a vested interest in the safety of school buses.

What’s my point? By the time you read this school will have started for many. Please watch out for the bus. It’s big and yellow, hard to miss. But also watch everyone! Last week there were two accidents in front of our office alone.  If you have the luck of having an accident the most common injury in an accident is whiplash.

How do you know if you have whiplash?

What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

  • Neck pain and stiffness.
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement.
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck.
  • Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull.
  • Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms.
  • Tingling or numbness in the arms.
  • Dizziness

The next question we get all the time is At what speed does whiplash occur?  Many people think that whiplash only happens at higher speeds.  This is not true any time you have a sudden change in direction of your body that causes strain on your neck whiplash can occur even as low as 5mph.  You can even get whiplash from riding roller coasters.

Do whiplash symptoms happen immediately?  Not always we have seen many cases where the patient feels fine after the accident even for up to 2 years and then headaches start.

How do you know if you need treatment after an auto accident?  You likely do if there is damage to your car.  Auto accidents can also aggravate old injuries or weaknesses in your body.  Auto insurance does cover treatment and the sooner you get treatment the fewer visits you need.


Now that school’s starting and the kiddos are off; our lives will be getting back to the abnormally normal (or normally abnormal). So, it’s time. Time to take care of that back pain, headache, migraine, and old auto accidents we have been ignoring that you thought would go away.