Whiplash Associated Disorders

The term ‘whiplash associated disorders (WADs)’ is simply another way of describing the symptoms of a whiplash injury. These symptoms will vary from person to person, depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • What type of accident caused the neck injury
  • How much force the neck experienced during the incident

Disorders associated with whiplash vary and can include anything from reduced neck movement, ongoing back pain and emotional trauma, to Alzheimer’s disease, vision problems and damage to the brain. Below we have outlined some of the most common WADs.

If you have any questions about your symptoms or wish to enquire about making a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team either by calling 0800 10 757 95, chatting to us online or filling in the form on this page and letting us know a suitable time to get in touch with you.

Associated disorders


To read about how whiplash can cause anxiety, click here.

Cervical vertebrae fracture

The cervical spine, which is the part of the backbone located in the neck, consists of seven vertebrae and six intervertebral discs and is responsible for bearing the weight of the head and allowing it to move and turn. If this is fractured in an accident that causes whiplash, it can result in mobility problems and great discomfort.

There are several symptoms that highlight a fracture in the cervical vertebrae, including unexplained weight loss and unexplained fever.

If you have suffered a cervical injury in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you have the legal right to claim compensation.

Emotional trauma

To read about how whiplash can cause emotional trauma, click here.

Facet joint damage

To read about how whiplash can result in facet joint damage, click here.


Fibromyalgia is a condition often caused by an accident or trauma and can completely change the lives of you and your family. Symptoms include severe pain across your entire body, hypersensitivity, exhaustion and lack of sleep, all of which can make it difficult to perform basic tasks.

Compensation can help to relieve the financial burden of the syndrome by making it less of a strain for you to purchase the specialist equipment, care and rehabilitation you require. If you’ve suffered from fibromyalgia as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are eligible to make a claim and should contact YouClaim today for expert advice and guidance.

Late whiplash syndrome

Most whiplash sufferers experience the symptoms of the condition for around three months. However, some people may experience them for more than six months after their accident - this is known as late whiplash syndrome. Victims can suffer from a wide variety of symptoms, including:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression

If you have suffered from whiplash after an accident that was caused by somebody else’s negligence, our solicitors can help you make a claim for compensation.

Loss of vision

The effects of whiplash can spread further than the neck, with some people experiencing problems with their vision. Due to the intense motion during a typical whiplash incident, the muscles in the visual system or the part of the brain that controls vision can become damaged, affecting your ability to see properly.

If your vision has been affected after suffering with whiplash injuries, you will be entitled to claim compensation for any financial loss you have suffered as a result of your injuries. This will be awarded on top of any compensation you receive due to accident-related injuries.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain caused as a result of whiplash can have a serious effect on your life and is usually experienced in the sacroiliac and/or lumbosacral joints. The first of these is the joint that secures the spine and pelvis, while the latter is the one above it. Both are highly important joints used in most movements, from walking to sitting down. It is therefore clear how damage to these joints can have a detrimental effect on someone’s quality of life.

If you have suffered from lower back pain due to an accident that was not your fault, you will be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Muscle contraction headaches

The most common whiplash-related headache is the muscle contraction headache. Typically, it manifests as an ache at the back of the neck, and is usually accompanied by a headache in the temples. It is typically triggered by tension and stress, however, there are also a number of pressure sites in the face, where touch or other triggers can cause an exacerbation of symptoms.

Our solicitors have handled many claims for muscle contraction headaches caused by other people’s negligence.

Muscle hyperflexion

Muscle hyperflexion, more commonly known as muscle spasm, is a serious and long-lasting condition that often affects whiplash victims. They can be incredibly painful and can have an impact on your ability to work or carry out basic tasks. Serious muscle spasms suffered following whiplash may feel like cramp or a twitch, however, sufferers have also complained of a burning sensation in their neck.

If you are suffering muscle spasms following an injury that was not your fault, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation for your pain and distress.

Nerve damage

To read about how whiplash causes nerve damage, click here.

Occult facet injury

To find out about how whiplash can lead to occult facet injury, click here.


Osteoarthritis is the name given to the group of diseases where the bones’ joints degrade, becoming incredibly painful as they are no longer protected by cartilage. As the condition worsens over time, it can often be difficult to prove that the condition was a result of whiplash, although it is not unheard of.

If you have suffered osteoarthritis as a result of a whiplash injury, you are eligible for compensation if the incident was caused by someone else’s negligence.

Pins and needles

Pins and needles (or paraesthesia) is the prickling or burning sensation that can often be felt when you have stood or sat for a long time with a limb crossed or rested on. When experienced after a whiplash injury, the stinging sensation of pins and needles can be the symptom of severe nerve damage and needs to be thoroughly examined.

If you’re suffering from pins and needles following whiplash, you should consult a doctor who will determine a course of therapy or treatment that can alleviate the symptoms. Our solicitors can help you make a claim for compensation to cover such costs, as well as any lost earnings or rehabilitation expenses.


Retinopathy, or eye damage, is a rare symptom of whiplash that can occur when the hyperflexion movement that causes injury to the neck puts significant force on the nerve cells at the back of the eye responsible for transforming light waves into vision.

If you have suffered from retinopathy as a result of an accident that was not your fault, you are entitled to claim against those responsible.


Syringomyelia is a side-effect of whiplash injuries that can cause numbness and pain and lead to significant spinal cord damage. It is a fluid-filled cyst within the spinal cord and symptoms include:

  • Loss of reflexes
  • Loss of sensitivity to pain and temperature
  • Muscles weakness and wasting
  • Stiffness

A doctor will make an assessment as to whether a neck injury has caused the condition by performing an MRI scan. Many months and years may pass after an injury before syringomyelia develops, so when you are evaluated for the condition it is important to let the doctor know that you have had a spinal injury in the past.

If you have developed syringomyelia as a result of whiplash, contact YouClaim to discuss your compensation claim.

Temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ)

One of the disorders often associated with whiplash is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a chronic inflammation of the joint that connects the skull and jaw, and this can lead to long-term problems. The condition can result in a number of symptoms, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Ear pain
  • Eye pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches

Like whiplash, the condition is not always immediately apparent and sufferers will see a reduction in jaw function - the opening and closing of the jaw can be very painful, with range and extent of motion extremely limited. In addition, you may also experience snapping, clicking or popping sounds caused by the misalignment of the jaw.

If you have experienced TMJ, the specialists at YouClaim can help you secure compensation for your pain, losses and expenses.

Vertebrae and disc damage

To read more about how whiplash can result in damaging the vertebrae or disks, click here.

Nerve Damage

Whiplash accidents can result in damage to the neck’s soft tissues and the body’s nerve fibres, including the long thoracic nerve and accessory nerve, which connects the brain to the trapezius muscle. Injury to these nerves can result in palsy, which could lead to diminished muscle mass, partial paralysis, involuntarily twitching, and ‘winging’ of the shoulder blade (where the bone appears to protrude, like a bird’s wing).  

If your whiplash was caused by a car accident, you may also suffer nerve damage to the face, resulting in weakened facial muscles and problems with eye closure. In some cases, this could lead to loss of taste, intolerance to loud noises, speech disorders and difficult eating.

Associated symptoms also include a damaged vagus nerve (located in the neck) and neuropathy (damage to the nervous system), both of which can significantly affect a person’s life.

If you have suffered nerve damage as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation.

How YouClaim can help

We are highly experienced in personal injury claims and have worked closely with many victims of whiplash and its associated disorders. We can also guarantee an unrivalled professionalism and sensitivity from our team throughout the handling of your case.

Our expert solicitors will help your claim proceed to its best possible conclusion while keeping you informed about its progress. Our ‘no win, no fee’ service means you are protected from legal fees in the event that your claim is not successful.

Get started today

If you have suffered with one or more of the associated disorders of whiplash, contact YouClaim today to find out if you’re eligible for compensation. Starting your claim couldn’t be simpler - either call us on 0800 10 757 95, chat to us online or complete our enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.