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Long Term Effects of Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common side effects of an accident or any sudden impact. An injury that cannot be taken lightly by any means, it has the potential to progress into something debilitating. Because of this, you cannot just dismiss a case of whiplash, no matter how minor it may seem, as just another “pain in the neck”. What are the different long-term effects of whiplash a patient must watch out for? This article would document just some of them.

Before taking a look at the different effects of this condition, it’s important to know first what this condition is all about. Whiplash is a common term used for a group of neck injuries caused by sudden motion or distortion. Because of this cause, it’s also medically termed as cervical acceleration-deceleration or CAD. This term is given because the cervical area (known in layman’s term as the neck) is subjected into a sudden forward-backward motion. Whiplash often happens in such a quick manner (it takes a few milliseconds to complete a full whiplash), and a high amount of force is generated in such motions, leading to a number of injuries and symptoms.

Depending on how treatment is administered (if it’s administered at all), the number of long term effects of whiplash observed (as well as its severity) can vary. Here are just some of the symptoms that can be observed on the patient long after a whiplash-inducing accident takes place.

  1. Neck pains- Pain in the neck area is a strong sign that a person is suffering from the after effects of whiplash. Usually accompanied by swelling and tenderness in the area, it’s a solid warning sign that someone might be suffering from a neck injury to some degree. If a person is suffering from prolonged neck pain, medical attention might be necessary.
  2. Sensory issues- Disturbances in the function of certain sense organs such as blurred vision or ringing in the ears can happen in an intermittent or prolonged fashion. Other than this, tingling and numbness in particular parts of the body, especially at the limb extremities such as the fingers and toes, can also be experienced long after the whiplash occurred.
  3. Difficulty in movement- Depending on the severity of the whiplash, a person can have difficulty moving particular parts of the body. Stiffness in the shoulders and back, as well as difficulty in moving the neck around, is one of the symptoms that must be watched out for. Immediate medical attention might be needed if these moving difficulties progress or even worsen.

Minor cases of whiplash often have their symptoms subside after a short while. But major cases often have prolonged and/or recurring effects that must be dealt with immediately. Anytime a person has any of these long-term effects of whiplash, it is a major health concern. Because of this, if you (or anyone you know) are suffering from the effects of a whiplash for prolonged periods, it’s important to get medical help immediately. Proper treatment of whiplash cases is the key to long-term spinal health.

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