Does a Headache after a Car Accident Mean That I Have Whiplash?

Apr 21, 2021

Does a Headache after a Car Accident Mean That I Have WhiplashDealing with the aftermath of a car accident is enough to give you a headache. But what happens when you have a headache after a car accident that won’t go away? Headaches after a car accident can be a sign that something is physically wrong and you should see a doctor. Whiplash is the most common car accident injury and affects your head and neck. Whiplash can occur in all kinds of car accidents, but especially if you’ve been rear-ended. If you get a headache after a car accident then you should see a whiplash chiropractor to find relief.

Painful headaches are some of the most common reasons people seek help from a whiplash chiropractor after a car accident. While scrapes and bruises are more obvious injuries that might cause you to seek treatment, if you don’t have any obvious injuries, you might not realize you’ve been injured. Car accident injuries can be tricky because the stress of the accident and the adrenaline running through your veins can keep you from recognizing pain right away. You may not even start to notice symptoms of a car accident until hours or even days afterward.

Car Accident Headache Pain

A headache that doesn’t seem to go away for hours or days after the car accident might be your first sign that you have been injured. Car accidents can cause head pain for a variety of reasons, including stress, and can be a symptom of many different injuries depending on how your body was affected by the accident. When you’ve been rear-ended and it takes you by surprise, you may not have time to brace yourself for the impact. The force of the accident may then cause your head and neck to snap forward and backward violently, causing whiplash. The most common types of headache pain after a car accident are headaches that won’t go away or headaches that get gradually worse over time.

Symptoms of Whiplash

While a painful headache might be your first symptom of whiplash, you will likely also notice other pain and discomfort in your head and neck. Some people say whiplash headaches feel different from tension or sinus headaches, while others say they are similar to migraines. You may also notice your neck is sore and stiff. Muscle pain is common in your neck and even along your shoulders and upper back. Swelling and tenderness can occur in your neck because your muscles have been strained out of their normal range of motion. Many times, sore neck muscles can become stiff and make it difficult to turn your neck up and down or side to side.

Diagnosing Whiplash

While there isn’t one specific test for whiplash, your whiplash chiropractor may want to run a series of tests to rule out other possible injuries before determining a whiplash diagnosis. Your whiplash chiropractor will want to hear about the symptoms you have been experiencing, including how long you’ve had those symptoms and whether or not they’ve gotten worse over time. They will likely also physically examine your head, neck, shoulders, and spine to assess for any misalignments and other likely injuries. X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans may be recommended to help rule out other serious concerns like a concussion or a fracture in your spine. Diagnostic imaging tools will give your whiplash chiropractor a clear picture of how your spine, muscles, tendons, and nerves may have been affected by the accident.

Treating Whiplash and Headaches

It’s important to know what doctor to see after an accident. Your whiplash chiropractor will develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses your specific symptoms and how your body has been affected by the car accident. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, whiplash chiropractors use a holistic approach for each person in need of chiropractic care. That way, you can expect treatments that are safe and effective so you can begin the healing process that’s best for you as soon as possible.

Chiropractic care for whiplash will typically involve addressing any swelling, misalignments, and sore, torn neck muscles. Therapeutic massage can help treat any swelling, along with alternating hot and cold therapies. Chiropractors also use gentle adjustment techniques to resolve any misalignments in your spine that may be contributing to your pain. Finally, your whiplash chiropractor may also walk you through specific stretches and exercises that can help soothe your aching neck muscles and slowly restore your range of motion.

If you think you have whiplash after a car accident, visit one of our Snellville whiplash chiropractors at AICA Orthopedics today and learn how our team of car accident doctors can help you recover from whiplash!