Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to result from an auto accident, but it may also result from falls, sports injuries, or other physical trauma. This injury affects the neck but can cause pain radiating across the shoulders, between the shoulder blades, and into the head.
Effective treatment for whiplash, including chiropractic care, soft tissue rehabilitation, and home care, can help you make a full recovery. However, many patients don’t seek out treatment right away after an auto accident and/or don’t recognize the symptoms of whiplash. Left untreated, whiplash has long-term effects that may impact your day-to-day life.
Whiplash occurs when the neck rapidly moves back and forth, potentially injuring the facet joints, discs, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. There are different severities of whiplash, with most mild cases resolving in six to nine months. However, about 20% of whiplash cases are more severe and lead to pain, weakness, or restricted movement that last for years. Prompt treatment is crucial to begin the healing process and prevent further damage to the tissues in the neck.
The long-term effects of whiplash can go beyond the neck, shoulders, and head, potentially affecting the patient’s overall wellbeing. Some of the enduring effects of whiplash include:
- Chronic pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and back
- Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
- Recurring dizziness
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
- Reduced range of motion in the cervical spine
- Severe headaches and potentially migraines
- Pain in the jaw
- Memory problems
- Trouble focusing
- Trouble sleeping
Since the long-term effects of whiplash can be disruptive to patients’ daily lives, it’s crucial to be assessed for whiplash as soon as possible after an auto accident or other accident causing a whip-like motion of the neck. Although symptoms of whiplash may not set in until days after the accident, don’t wait to visit Florida Injury Wellness Center for an evaluation. When it comes to whiplash, being cautious will help you avoid long-term effects from the injury.