A car accident can be a devastating experience. The impact trauma enacted upon the body during a crash can lead to all manner of injuries. Most common among these injuries being whiplash. If you have suffered whiplash due to a car accident, you may find yourself wondering: how long does whiplash last?
The amount of time it will take you to recover can vary from person to person. Each incident is unique and many factors come into play, such as:
- The severity of your injury
- Your personal ability to recover from injury
- The treatment you receive for injuries
These factors may make it easier or harder for you to recover. One way to recover faster from whiplash or other car accident-related injuries is through chiropractic treatment. Let’s take a closer look at how long whiplash can last and how chiropractors can help victims recover better after an accident.
How Does Whiplash Happen?
Whiplash occurs when the head is violently jerked forward and then snaps back due to a forceful impact. Car accidents, even minor ones, are some of the most common reasons people experience whiplash.
During a collision, your torso is held in place by your seatbelt, leaving your head to be brought forward with the sudden stop and then jerked quickly back by the neck. The term whiplash is used as your head and neck mimic the action of cracking a whip.
Whiplash can cause serious damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of your neck. This can lead to pain and decreased range of motion. People may suffer more serious injuries if their head was turned at the accident or were not expecting the incident.
It is important to note that whiplash accidents do not only happen during car accidents. People can suffer whiplash from sports accidents, work-related accidents, or other incidents. No matter the cause of your whiplash, Manasota Accident and Injury Center in Bradenton, Florida can help you recover.
Signs And Symptoms Of Whiplash
The signs and symptoms may vary from person to person depending on the nature and severity of their injury. Most people who have suffered a whiplash injury will experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the neck
- Trouble moving your head up, down, and side to side
- Pain in the shoulders, arms, upper back, and lower back
tingling, numbness, or weakness in the arms and hands
- Headaches or migraines, especially radiating from the base of the skull
- Inflammation and swelling
- Loss of balance
- Psychological symptoms
These symptoms can be disruptive to your daily life and may even prevent you from being able to work. This is why getting treatment that works to address the cause of your symptoms rather than simply mask them is so important.
More severe injuries may also lead to other symptoms, such as:
- Loss of memory
- Trouble concentrating
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Trouble sleeping
You May Not Realize You Have Whiplash After An Accident
Many people make a mistake after experiencing a car accident to not seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even a car accident at 5 miles per hour can lead to whiplash or other injuries. The problem is you may not be aware of your injuries right away.
A car accident can be an extremely traumatic event. Your body’s natural response to such an event is to send adrenaline coursing through your body. Adrenaline can work to mask the pain of any injuries sustained during an accident. People may not even realize they have suffered an injury until hours or even days later.
You could face some serious consequences if you do not get medically evaluated quickly after your accident. Symptoms and pain can last longer and worsen if left untreated.
Another issue people may face is the cost of treatment. After an accident, people who seek treatment right away are more likely to have their treatment covered through an insurance claim. If you wait for several days after your accident to get a medical evaluation, insurance companies can refuse your claim. They may argue that you would have sought treatment sooner if the car accident was the source of your injury.
How Long Does Whiplash Last?
The big question many people have is: How long does whiplash last? It can last longer than one might think. Many people view whiplash as a minor injury and that may be true in some cases but not all. People may feel the effects of whiplash for weeks, months, and even years after their initial injury.
Your recovery time can depend on the severity of your injury, your natural ability to heal, and the treatments you undergo. There is no definitive timeline for recovering but a car accident doctor, such as a chiropractor, can help give you an estimated recovery timeline following a diagnostic evaluation.
People who experience mild whiplash from a less serious accident can expect a speedier recovery time. Some victims may recover from their injuries within a few days but most should expect a few weeks of treatment to fully recover.
Mild cases of whiplash can be treated through a combination of pain medication, such as ibuprofen, rest, and chiropractic treatments, such as hydrotherapy massage. Some people wear a neck brace after an accident but this can sometimes inhibit the recovery process. Allowing your head and neck to be mobile can help your body heal. However, always be sure to discuss whether or not a brace would be best for your particular situation with your doctor.
If symptoms continue to persist for more than six months, it is considered to be a sign of chronic whiplash. People who have suffered serious injuries will usually take longer to recover and in some cases may never fully recover.
Car accident victims who are suffering from chronic whiplash should seek the aid of a car accident specialist. The chiropractors at Manasota Accident and Injury Center have decades of experience diagnosing and treating whiplash injuries. Our staff will work with you to devise the right treatment plan for your injuries. Our goal is always to help our clients recover in the fastest and safest way possible.
Chiropractic Treatment For Whiplash
Remember that the sooner you seek treatment for your injuries the better your recovery will be. Treatment for whiplash typically involves a combination of pain medication, rest, physical therapy exercises, and chiropractic treatment.
Pain medications are effective at helping you manage the pain of your injuries but they do not actually treat the cause of your injury. This is why seeking the help of a chiropractor is so important. Chiropractors work to treat the root cause of your injuries and help your body’s natural healing processes.
A chiropractor may employ various techniques to help treat whiplash injuries depending on your injuries. Upon your initial consultation, your chiropractor will use diagnostic tests to determine the severity and nature of your whiplash. They will then work with you to develop a tailored treatment plan for your unique situation.
Chiropractic treatments for whiplash include:
- Chiropractic Adjustments
- Hot and Cold Therapy
- Hydrotherapy Massage
- Stretching and Strength exercises
- K-Laser Therapy
- Ultrasound Therapy
- Electrical Stimulation Therapy
- Spinal Decompression
Speak With A Chiropractor About Whiplash Treatment Today
If you have suffered whiplash due to a car crash or other accident, a chiropractor could help you recover. Speak with a car accident doctor today to learn what treatment options are available. Our licensed chiropractors will help determine the source of your pain and work with you to develop a course of treatment that works for you.
Tired of wondering how long whiplash lasts? Speak with a chiropractor today to get the answers you need. Call Manasota Accident and Injury Center at (941) 751-0223 or use our online form to schedule a whiplash consultation.