When a car crash forces your head to jolt forward and backward, a common result is a soft tissue injury known as whiplash. Even minor accidents can result in major injuries, and depending on the severity of the damage, whiplash can plague you for months or years to come.
Symptoms of Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) often do not present until well after the event, making them difficult to diagnose and treat. Some of these illnesses include:
A sudden neck jolt can cause trauma to the muscles that surround the temporomandibular joint, leading to pain in the jaw that worsens over time. Patients also report clicking, popping or grating when chewing or yawning. Some have even experienced lockjaw, or tetanus, a serious and sometimes fatal condition that occurs when bacteria invade the nervous system.
If you experience weakness in your arms or “pins and needles” in your hands, then you may be suffering from an untreated neck injury. Dysfunction in the spine can irritate the nerves that supply your muscles, leaving you with chronic numbness or sensation that affects your mobility and function.
Whiplash can also lead to elevated cognitive difficulties, like memory and concentration problems. Depending on your age and medical history, it can be difficult to know if your troubles are a result of your neck injury or another condition. You may need to consult a specialist to receive a neuropsychological exam.
If you suffer from a WAD, ignoring it is not the answer. By seeking treatment immediately, you can spare yourself much pain and suffering in the future.