One thing medical professionals commonly tell victims of car accidents is to pay attention to what their bodies tell them in the weeks following the incident. If a person notices any new pains in the neck or shoulder region, or if he or she begins to develop chronic headaches, feels unusually tired or dizzy or the neck becomes tender to the touch, he or she may have whiplash. Mayo Clinic explores the signs and symptoms of whiplash and explains when one should see a doctor.

Whiplash typically develops within 24 hours of the causing incident, but in some cases, symptoms may take longer to arise. Whiplash occurs when the neck undergoes rapid back-and-forth movements. The nature of the injury results in symptoms that present themselves in the head, neck and shoulder regions.

The most obvious signs of whiplash are neck stiffness and pain, pain that worsens with neck movement and loss of range of motion in the neck. These symptoms often cause secondary symptoms, such as chronic headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sensitivity to the light, blurred vision difficulty concentrating and sleep disturbances. Many people experience tingling or numbness in the arms and tenderness in the upper back, shoulders and arms. If a person develops any of these symptoms, Mayo Clinic encourages him or her to seek medical attention right away.

Whiplash should resolve itself within a few weeks, but according to Healthline, some people do develop complications. These complications last for years after the incident and include chronic pain, headaches and tenderness. Though medical professionals continue to study the reasons for long-lasting cases of whiplash, it, as of yet, has no medical explanation.