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Taking a look at pins and needles caused by whiplash

Amongst the many varying symptoms of whiplash after a car accident, including headaches, neck pain and pinched nerves, pins and needles is a recurrent and extremely serious symptom (known as parasthesiae).

Pins and needles comes from nerve irritation in the neck area and lack of blood supply to the nerves, which causes altered sensation and which can be caused by strained muscles in the neck and shoulder area.

The duration of the symptom after a car crash is what irritates most people. Pins and needles in the arm of the affected side can be intermittent or can last for days and weeks on end.

When people talk about neck dysfunction from whiplash, they are generally referring to irritation of the nerve roots. The nerve roots are the point where nerves supply the different areas of the body arising from the spinal cord.

There are eight nerve roots in the cervical spine which exit from the spinal column through small gaps between the vertebrae. If these gaps are reduced in size, perhaps by joint, muscle or disc dysfunction, the nerve roots may become irritated. This will cause changes in sensation along the entire path of the nerve - especially at the end, often the fingers and hand.

Whiplash treatment includes stretching of the nerves and muscles, mobilising stiff joints and supportive taping to take the strain off the nerves.

The medical term for extremely painful pins and needles, parasthesiae, refers to a burning or prickling sensation usually felt in the hands, arms, legs or feet, but which can also occur in other parts of the body.

Many people experience parasthesiae occasionally if they stay in a particular position for too long, with their feet trapped underneath their legs for example, or with their arm under their head, which can place pressure on a nerve. The feeling often quickly goes away once pressure is relieved.

Chronic whiplash parasthesiae is often a symptom of an underlying neurological disease or traumatic nerve damage. Parasthesiae can be caused by disorders affecting the central nervous system like strokes and multiple sclerosis. A tumour can also cause parasthesiae.

Severe parasthesiae can result in feelings of cold, warmth, burning, itching and skin crawling and occurs when the body loses its normal sensation to touch. The term aesthesia comes from the Greek word aesthesis, meaning sensation and para means beside. Together, the words refer to a sensation that is different to a 'normal' sensation.

Symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling, prickling, burning and itching.

Whiplash compensation
Although many people think that whiplash is a minor personal injury, symptoms can last for an extremely long time and if left untreated, can produce numerous physical and emotional problems.

A whiplash injury can actually be extremely painful and is not a joke. Although this invisible personal injury can be treated with self-help at home and in the hospital, migraines and nerve problems can made work and normal life difficult. In worst case scenarios, weakness in the limbs can make mobility and normal tasks like writing and doing up clothes difficult.

If you have whiplash because of a non-fault accident, we may be able to help you make a personal injury compensation claim.

To find out more about making a whiplash compensation claim today, fill in the online form to request a call back, chat online to an advisor or call us direct now on 0800 10 757 95.