Getting into a car wreck in Tennessee may be a figurative pain in the neck. Unfortunately, for some, auto accidents may also cause literal pain in their necks. A common injury in rear-end collisions, whiplash may cause significant symptoms and, in some cases, may lead to lasting complications.

A type of neck strain or sprain, whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the neck is forcefully and rapidly thrown back-and-forth. Think, for example, of the cracking of a whip. When the neck is subjected to such backward and then forward motion, it may cause trauma to the nerves, ligaments, muscles, tissues, disks or bones in the cervical spine.

According to, some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with whiplash due to car crashes include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms
  • Decreased neck range of motion
  • Sleep disturbances and fatigue

Additionally, people may experience memory problems, irritability and difficulty concentrating as a result of whiplash.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of this type of neck injury may develop within 24-hours of when the trauma occurred. Often, they resolve within a few weeks. In some cases, however, people may continue to experience the symptoms of their injuries for months or years after their accidents.

The treatment for whiplash focuses on pain management, restoring normal movement in the neck and helping people return to their everyday activities. To this end, they may use immobilization, rest, the application of heat or cold packs, over the counter or prescription medications, physical therapy or a combination of these.