How Long Can the Effects of Whiplash Last?

Posted on July 12, 2022

The National Safety Council confirms that many accidents occur inside and outside the home. Among them is whiplash, a common injury involving trauma to the neck. If an accident gives you whiplash, you may have difficulty moving for a long time. If you want to know how long the effects of a whiplash last, here’s what you should know.


What Is Whiplash 

This injury is a result of the neck’s snapping movement from an impact accident. The rapid action traumatizes the spine, tendons, muscles, and nerves of the neck. The direction can be sideways, backward, or forward. The abrupt motion misaligns the cervical spine.


Noticing the Symptoms

Whiplash is a strain on the neck. Anyone can have this type of injury. You may or may not feel pain at all after your accident. In the first 24 hours of the accident, the following symptoms may accompany your pain:


  • Dizziness

  • Shoulder pain

  • Neck pain

  • Pain in the upper limb

  • Back pain

  • Headache

  • Nausea

You should get immediate treatment. The pain could go on for weeks or months. It could even last for the rest of your life. Healing can take six to 10 weeks if you only have minor injuries involving soft tissues. Whiplash patients often take two to three months to get better.

Tissue stress often results from spinal misalignments. Your attending doctor can evaluate you for whiplash right after the accident. This is important even if you have not felt any symptoms yet. The check is important to pinpoint all the damaged areas. The doctor can choose from any of the following techniques, depending on the findings:


  • Electrical stimulation

  • Physical therapy

  • Trigger point injection

  • Massage for stimulating lymph and blood flow

  • Using traction for spinal manipulation

  • Correcting subluxations and realigning the cervical spine through chiropractic adjustments.


Delayed Pain

Some people experience late whiplash syndrome. The symptoms last for at least two years. Some do not even appear until weeks or even months after the accident. Pain that lasts for at least 10 weeks may come with injuries like compressed nerves or herniated discs.

Late whiplash syndrome may include persistent headaches and pain. This syndrome may be a form of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). A vehicular accident, strong collision, or hard blow to the head can be a life-threatening experience. Each can cause stress that could manifest as physical symptoms.


Chiropractic Treatments Can Heal Whiplash

Pain relievers merely mask whiplash symptoms. Chiropractic medicine can target the source of the pain through specific manipulations. The chiropractor can make your body healthy enough to heal on its own. This can happen by realigning the spine through spinal adjustments. Every individual heals at specific times, but chiropractic care can speed up your healing after a whiplash injury. This natural treatment can end and prevent chronic whiplash symptoms.

Whiplash can be life-threatening. It can result from any hard impact or collision. Its effects can last for weeks or years.

For more information about whiplash, visit Accident and Injury Chiropractic or you can call (253) 215-8350 to reach our office in Tacoma, Washington.


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