Car accident injuries may require immediate medical attention. In these instances, the damage may prove extensive, such as a back injury or excessive bleeding.

Whiplash is a common injury people sustain in collisions. Head pain may occur as part of this injury, but it may also point to something worse. Find out the differences between whiplash and a concussion so you may help yourself or a loved one after a crash.

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury in the neck and upper back. It develops when the neck moves sharply under a great deal of force. In a crash, the neck snaps one way and then the other, resulting in micro-tears in the muscles and ligaments of the neck and shoulders. Some people feel the pain immediately, while others may not feel it for days. However, when they do, it is usually sharp and immobilizing.

A concussion is a brain injury

When the neck moves violently, the head goes along with it. When the force is strong enough, the brain may slide and strike the skull. A concussion may develop as the result of this movement or from a direct impact to the head. In either case, a proper diagnosis ensures that treatment commences immediately. A person with a concussion may not know it, especially if there was not a blow to the head. However, symptoms that manifest over the hours and days following a crash may point to the injury. Things like nausea, vomiting, extreme exhaustion or slurred speech should prompt a visit to the hospital.

Whiplash and a concussion may go hand in hand. Getting a medical checkup after a crash, whether there are immediate symptoms or not, may result in more effective treatment and less pain.