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Common Whiplash-Associated Disorders that can Occur Post-Motor Vehicle Accident

Whiplash is a devastating condition that can occur in a number of ways, but is most commonly associated with vehicular accidents and other collisions. Being in a car accident, especially a major one, and being able to walk away from that accident is truly a miracle, but what many people don’t always realize is that post-accident, injuries can rise to the surface that continue to plague you for the rest of your life. Generally, many of these injuries occur as a result of whiplash.

Whiplash is simply described as a rapid, violent swinging of the neck and head, either from one side to the other or from front to back. Commonly, whiplash observed in individuals is graded based on the severity of the situation—a grade of zero represents no whiplash, while a grade of four stands as a visible fracture or dislocation of the neck.

Someone suffering from whiplash, regardless of the observed grade, will generally undergo some regimen of motor vehicle accident rehabilitation in Brampton, aimed at preventing recurring pain and other disorders, which can include the following:

Chronic neck pain: This is the most common whiplash-associated condition and is a clear indicator that whiplash has occurred. Sufferers commonly experience swelling in the neck, which can also be offset by swallowing difficulties, pain when breathing and tenderness. If not resolved, chronic neck pain caused by whiplash can lead to neck stiffness, hindered mobility when turning the head and discomfort brought on by lying down.

Spinal nerve damage: Spinal nerve damage caused by whiplash is a serious condition and one that must be immediately treated with motor vehicle accident rehabilitation in Brampton. Spinal nerves and even the spinal cord itself can suffer pressure from a herniated disk or bone spur, which can cause shooting pains in the neck, shoulders or arms. If spinal nerve damage is not diagnosed and tended to, it can create chronic pain, discomfort and even nerve damage over time, resulting in loss of feeling, depression or hindered mobility.

Chronic headaches: Whiplash itself has commonly been associated with strong headaches for days or even weeks after a motor vehicle accident, but long-term effects of untreated whiplash can show through in chronic headaches that vary in severity.

Sleep disorders: Because the chronic pain from whiplash can be extremely discomforting and severe, it can hinder the sleeping abilities of the person affected. The inability to achieve REM sleep, frequent shifting at night and insomnia have all been associated with untreated whiplash accidents.

Ringing in the ears: Tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears, is frequently an ongoing condition that whiplash sufferers face due to untreated nerve damage. Tinnitus can be a daily distraction for many people and often interferes with hearing abilities.

Disk injuries or hernia: If your whiplash is severe enough, a disk injury or hernia will require professional attention, to ensure that it’s resolved quickly and doesn’t become a source for chronic pain or disability. If left untreated, disk hernias will often heal improperly or worse, can push on nerves, creating other chronic issues.

If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident and are lucky enough to walk away with no visible injuries, make sure that you’re still being checked out by a physician to ensure that you’re not suffering from whiplash. If you are, a regimen of motor vehicle accident rehabilitation in Brampton could be in order, to ensure that you’re not setting yourself up for long-term pain or worse, a debilitating condition brought on by whiplash.


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