Statistics indicate that roughly 6 million car accidents occur each year in the United States. Of these auto accidents, about 2 million people develop permanent injuries that can include whiplash according to one chiropractor in Denver, Colorado.

Whiplash typically occurs within 24 hours following a motor vehicle collision, but some signs may not develop for several days. Left untreated, whiplash can lead to even more serious injuries that may become permanent. Below are 5 signs of whiplash that include:

1. Painful Stiff Neck That Limits Ability to Turn Head from Side-to-Side

According to a chiropractor at Denver Chiropractic, LLC, whiplash occurs from sudden and severe back-and-forth or side-to-side jerking motions that involve the head and neck. This type of forceful motion of the head and neck is typical following an auto accident, but whiplash can also occur during sports injuries as well.

One of the first signs of whiplash is a painful and/or still neck that limits the victims ability to turn their head from side-to-side. This symptom may not appear to be serious at first, and many auto accident victims do not experience pain in the initial aftermath of a collision.

The stiffness and limited ability to move the neck is caused by muscles, ligaments and tendons in the neck area becoming suddenly strained or sprained due to the suddenness and forcefulness of the crash.

2. Development of Cognitive Problems with Headaches May Indicate Whiplash

The development of any cognitive issues with or without headaches is a serious situation that needs immediate treatment by a qualified health professional. This is often due to a concussion that can occur from the violent shaking back-and-forth motions of head and neck causing the brain to also shift violently inside the skull.

3. Suspect Whiplash if Your Ears Begin to “Ring” After Crash

Many auto accident victims report tinnitus or “ringing” in their ears. This can lead to serious hearing problems if not treated promptly.

4. Whiplash Signs Can Include Body Aches & Tingling Feeling

Whiplash injuries may first appear as a strange tingling sensation that can occur in the arms, hands or fingers after a car accident. This sensation can occur in the cervical spine or neck and/or the lower lumbar or back too, and left untreated could progress to paralysis in severe cases.

5. Consider Whiplash if It Becomes Difficult to Chew or Swallow

Whiplash may cause an overextension injury to the jaw and soft tissues may become damaged in that region. Victims may report pain and difficulty when yawning, speaking, eating/chewing or swallowing.

Chiropractors warn that whiplash-related motion can actually force the supportive vertebrae of the neck out of alignment. Untreated, serious whiplash injuries may become permanent.

Contact Denver Chiropractic, LLC, for more information on Whiplash treatments and auto accident injury recovery.