It can happen when you least expect it. One minute you’re tooling along, and the next you’re a victim of a serious accident. Whiplash may easily occur in this case, which is a painful condition that can have lasting effects following a severe accident. The Mayo Clinic offers the following information so you can get the proper treatment if you’ve been involved in a car accident.

In most cases, symptoms of whiplash will become evident within the 24 hours following the accident. They include stiffness in the neck, dizziness, tingling in the arms, pain, problems with range of motion, and headaches. In rare cases it also causes problems remembering, trouble sleeping, blurred vision, and irritability.

Whiplash is also linked to quite a few complications. For instance, neck pain may become severe, to the point where it interferes with your life. You may also experience chronic headaches or pain in the arms. In some cases, these effects may only last a few weeks, but for others, they may last months or even years. People who are older or those that have experienced whiplash in the past have a greater risk of experiencing serious symptoms.

Even if symptoms seem relatively minor, it’s best to be assessed by a doctor when symptoms of whiplash present. While symptoms often resolve on their own with rest, there could be other issues causing your discomfort. Things like tissue damage and fractures are very serious and will cause further complications if not promptly treated. That’s why it’s a good idea to visit your doctor after an accident, even if injuries don’t seem severe.