Whiplash can be difficult to understand and diagnose simply because there is a wide range of symptoms associated with injuries from rear end collisions. It can be confusing to some doctors why a patient might have back pain and dizziness, for instance.
Why are whiplash injuries so complex? Because most of the injuries from rear end collisions are of the tissues of the spine. The spine is a very sophisticated structure that consists of bones, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, tendons, and muscles. And since injury can occur to any of these structures, the symptoms that result can vary widely.
For instance, if the ligaments of the spine are injured, the patient may have pain and tenderness in the spine. If the the inflammation of the ligaments is not treated, it may affect the nerves of the spine, which can result in referred pain in other parts of the body–like the arm or shoulder. If blood vessels are injured, the patient may experience dizziness or headaches.
It’s critical when being treated for whiplash that the doctor performs a thorough and careful history and examination. A proper diagnosis will help your physician develop an effective treatment plan that will help get you back on the road to recovery.