One of the most common car accident injuries is whiplash. Most people are familiar with this injury that causes pain and stiffness in the neck, but you might not be aware of how long it lasts and what the potentially enduring side effects are. Read on to learn how long it takes to recover from a whiplash injury and view tips for speeding up the healing process.
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that results from sudden force or movement causing your neck to extend beyond its normal range of motion. This injury can result in damage to your neck and your spine's muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Common causes of whiplash include sporting accidents, physical abuse, and falls, though most people who experience whiplash are rear-ended car accident victims. A vehicle crashing into another vehicle results in the passengers' heads jerking back and forth with significant force.
What Does Whiplash Feel Like?
Though you might not immediately feel whiplash after your accident, the injury often presents itself in the form of neck pain and stiffness. Most people describe a constant, aching pain that worsens as you move your head. Other whiplash injury symptoms include:
- Limited range of motion when you move your neck.
- Muscle spasms.
- Tense, knotted muscles.
- Blurred vision.
- Headaches, especially those that originate at the base of the skull.
Side Effects of Whiplash
If you don't receive the appropriate treatment, long-lasting side effects of whiplash may include:
- Ongoing pain.
- Chronic headaches.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Sudden mood swings.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Jaw pain.
- Memory problems.
When Does Whiplash Onset?
Most whiplash symptoms develop within 24 hours after the accident, though some people might not experience symptoms until days or weeks later. Even if you feel fine, be sure to see a personal injury doctor immediately after being in a car accident. These professionals will provide documentation for insurance companies and track the development of symptoms.
How Long Does Whiplash Last?
How long it takes to recover from whiplash depends on how severe your injury is. Mild cases may mostly resolve within a few days, though some people have symptoms that persist for weeks or months. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help you manage your symptoms. In some cases, prescribed antidepressant drugs can relieve persistent nerve pain. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions and complete rehabilitation exercises. You can also speed up the recovery process by refraining from activities such as playing contact sports that would aggravate the pain.
Whiplash after a car accident can make the recovery possible even more painful, but CityWide is here to help. Schedule an appointment to see a personal injury doctor immediately after your accident. We also have personal injury attorneys for those who need help building their negligence cases.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Whiplash Injury? / City Wide Injury & Accident – Houston, TX
Joe Danna is a Chiropractor specialist practicing in Houston, TX. Where he has lived his whole life.