Just how likely are you to be in a motor vehicle accident? The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that there were more than 6.7 million motor vehicle accidents in 2018. Whiplash is a common injury that can result from a car accident. In fact, one study reports that up to 83% of people involved in a car accident are affected by whiplash.
Physical therapy can be an effective treatment option for patients with whiplash. A study shows that physical therapy for this injury helped improve one patient’s disability score by more than 5% in just three days. However, patients who don’t seek treatment soon after their injury could develop several long-term effects of whiplash.
What are some common long-term effects that whiplash can have on your neck?
Whiplash symptoms can often fool people by not showing up for days or even weeks after a car accident. This is why you should see your doctor for this injury as soon as possible after your accident. Such advice is valid even if you aren’t feeling any symptoms at that time; if you don’t take this step, you’re much more likely to develop long-term effects of whiplash, such as:
- Chronic neck pain — The risk of developing chronic neck pain and other symptoms from a whiplash injury is high. Medical studies show that up to 40% of patients will still have whiplash symptoms one year after their accident. The likelihood of ending up in this category is much higher if you delay treatment or don’t seek it at all.
- TMJ dysfunction — The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is more commonly called the jaw joint. This joint relies on muscles in the neck for some of its movements. Whiplash can injure these muscles or cause them to become harder to move. In turn, this can make it harder and more painful to move the TMJ.
- Pinched neck nerve — The strain that whiplash places on your neck can cause one of the neck nerves to be pinched. This issue is known to medical professionals as neck nerve impingement. According to one whiplash study, a follow-up two years after the injury revealed that 33% of participants had developed a neck nerve impingement.
Reduce the chances of long-term whiplash effects with help from Continuum Wellness
You don’t have to simply hope that you avoid long-term effects from whiplash. Our Continuum Wellness team is ready to help reduce your chances of developing these complications. We offer free screenings that help us learn how whiplash is affecting your body. Then, we’ll use this information to create an individualized therapy plan for you, and this plan will be designed to reduce your current symptoms and prevent them from recurring.
Contact our team today for more information about whiplash treatment or to schedule your free screening.