If you’ve suffered a sports injury or been in a car accident, there’s a possibility that you have whiplash. Whiplash isn’t so much a condition as a cluster of symptoms that may appear after your head and neck are subjected to back-and-forth or side-to-side jerking motions that are both severe and sudden.
Because these movements can injure the tissues, nerves, and bones in your cervical spine, whiplash can, if left untreated, lead to serious and possibly permanent damage and disability. So, if you’ve been in an accident or injured playing sports, it’s important that you get checked right away even if you don’t feel anything at first.
At AllCare Chiropractic, with three locations in Maryland, our chiropractors are dedicated to providing you with the best in spinal care. Here we offer a look at five symptoms that may indicate you have whiplash after a car accident or sports injury.
1. Your head is stuck
A stiff neck, where you can’t turn your head from side to side, is the first sign of whiplash. This happens because your muscles, tendons, and ligaments may be strained or sprained. The force of an accident can even jolt your vertebrae out of alignment.
Look out for any stiffness, pain, or mobility issues in your neck. Leaving this untreated can lead to a lack of support in your neck muscles, causing instability.
2. You have headaches and cognitive problems
Often, when you have whiplash you also have a concussion, which can best be described as a bruise to your brain. Although you don’t always lose consciousness with a concussion, the force of your brain suddenly crashing against your skull, as happens during a concussion, can still cause harm.
Some other symptoms of a concussion include trouble with your focus and memory, as well as personality changes. Dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, and irritability are other signs to look for. Untreated concussions can lead to seizures and even death, so it’s important to get yourself checked out right away.
3. Your ears ring
Tinnitus, or a constant ringing in your ears, may be a sign of nerve or even brain damage that occurred during your accident or injury. If left untreated, tinnitus can get so severe that it impairs your ability to hear.
4. It hurts to chew or swallow
When you get whiplash, your head and neck often hyperextend, and this motion can lead to a misalignment of your jaw and damage to the soft tissues that surround your neck. This can cause pain and difficulty when you eat, speak, and yawn.
5. Your body hurts or tingles
Even a tingling sensation in your fingers may be a sign of whiplash. Because whiplash affects your cervical spine, other areas of your body, like your arms and legs, might be affected with nerve damage or changes in sensation. This can cause problems like lower back pain, impaired mobility, and even paralysis.
If you suspect you’ve suffered whiplash in an accident or because of injury, it’s important to seek treatment right away to avoid serious medical problems down the road. For expert diagnosis and effective treatment, call AllCare Chiropractic at one of our three convenient Maryland locations in Annapolis, Bowie, and Laurel, or schedule an appointment on our website today.