Common Injuries Resulting From Whiplash

Whiplash injuries can manifest in a variety of ways such as neck pain, upper back and shoulder pain, headaches, fatigue, low back pain, and cognitive changes.

St. Louis man with lower back pain

When many people think about whiplash, they may just think of neck or back pain. However, whiplash injuries can manifest in a variety of ways such as neck pain, upper back and shoulder pain, headaches, fatigue, low back pain, and cognitive changes.

Each patient may experience a different set of symptoms based on various factors such as direction and force of impact, speed of the vehicles at the time of the crash, and age, sex, and physical condition of the person. Also, symptoms of whiplash may not be immediately apparent and may show up days or even weeks after the crash. In this post, our car accident lawyer will discuss some of the common injuries resulting from whiplash trauma.

Neck Pain

Neck pain is reported by almost 90 percent of those who suffer whiplash. The pain radiates across the shoulders, between the shoulder blades, and up into the head. Whiplash trauma can affect the tissues of the neck including discs between the vertebrae and the facet joints.

The most common cause of neck pain from a car accident is facet joint pain. It is felt at the back of the neck and the area is tender to touch. Disc injury is also a common cause of chronic neck pain.

Damage to the ligaments and muscles in the neck and upper back are the leading cause of late-appearing pain.


Headaches are the second most common symptom of a whiplash injury, and they affect nearly 80 percent of patients. Some headaches may result from a brain injury, others are related to injury of the facet joints, ligaments, and muscles.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

It is a serious, but less common disorder resulting from whiplash. TMJ begins as pain and popping noises in the jaw with every movement.

Brain Injury

Whiplash trauma can lead to mild or moderate brain injury. Our brain is a very delicate structure and is suspended in fluid call the cerebrospinal fluid. The violent motion of the skull can cause the brain to bounce off inside the skull. This can lead to bleeding or bruising in the brain. The patient may experience symptoms of a concussion and may lose consciousness. In most cases, the patient just experiences disorientation and confusion after the injury. Any type of brain injury can have serious long term effects.


Injury to the facet joints of the cervical spine can cause dizziness. In some cases, dizziness can result from an injury to the brain or brain stem.

Lower Back Pain

Surprisingly, whiplash trauma can cause lower back pain as well. Lower back pain was reported in more than half of the rear-end collisions and in three-quarters of all side-impact collisions.

Seeking Legal Help

Even mild whiplash injuries may take months to heal. However, more than 20 percent of the patients continue to experience pain, restricted movement, and weakness for up to two years.

If you have suffered whiplash in a car accident caused by another driver’s fault, you should seek legal help from a competent St. Louis whiplash lawyer. Give us a call at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE consultation with an experienced attorney.

Read more: Whiplash Treatment

Updated: November 24, 2020