Ailments & Conditions

Typical Symptoms of Lockjaw

Lockjaw, also known as tetanus, is a bacterial infection that occurs in the nervous system. It is characterized by muscle contractions in the neck and . Nevertheless, the symptoms may spread to other body parts. If left untreated, the condition may lead to more serious complications. Since it is a medical emergency, immediate treatment in the hospital is needed to prevent further issues. The injection of a vaccine can help prevent this disease, but the effect does not last forever. You may need booster shots every 10 years to create immunity. Below are some typical symptoms of lockjaw that you should know.

Muscle Stiffness and Spasms

The most typical sign of lockjaw or tetanus is muscle stiffness. It can affect the neck and jaw muscles, making it harder to move these body parts properly. When the symptom develops, you may feel like the jaw is frozen in a fixed position. It seems more difficult to open the mouth wide as well. This problem may happen suddenly and reach the peak effect in a couple of hours. In more serious cases, muscles in other areas of the body can be affected and become stiff as well. [1]

In addition to muscle stiffness, people with lockjaw may feel muscle spasms or contractions. This symptom occurs when the condition causes some muscles in the jaw to tighten up rather than relaxing as usual. For most patients, it can be very distressing and painful. Some people cannot even open their mouths. Each spasm can be triggered by some minor elements, such as light, physical touch, or loud noise. It tends to last for a few minutes or even longer. [2]