Whiplash is one of the most common auto injuries, specifically in cars that have been hit from behind or “rear-ended”. Many people recover from whiplash from anywhere within a day or two to a few weeks.
Whiplash is caused by the abrupt jerking of the head and neck forward and then backward, much like the motion of someone cracking a whip. Occasionally, more serious injuries may occur, including sprains or torn ligaments.
The primary symptom of whiplash is neck pain or stiffness, which can commonly take from 6 to 12 hours or occasionally up to 24 hours after an accident to appear. This may pain worsen within the first few days. Generally, any inflammation or bruising of the neck muscles will not be evident at the scene evident at the scene of the accident. Read more about Whiplash Symptoms.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, there are a number of different treatment paths you and your doctor may discuss for your whiplash pain. Immobilization In the first few hours after injury, you may be given a cervical collar to wear – both to reduce pain and prevent any further injuries while your doctor confirms the whiplash diagnosis. Read more about Whiplash Treatment.
In some cases, whiplash associated injuries can take months or years to fully subside. Chronic whiplash symptoms include: Pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and arms Persistent headache in the base of the skull Poor concentration Irritability Memory loss Dizziness Anxiety and depression What causes chronic whiplash? Read more about Chronic Whiplash.
Your physical therapist may give you whiplash exercises to perform at home between office visits. Here are a few strengthening and range of motion exercises to help speed up your whiplash recovery. Range of Motion Exercises Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor. Read more about Whiplash Exercises.
Many newer vehicles have integrated advances that make it easier for you to prevent whiplash in the event that you are involved in a rear-end collision. Adjust Your Head Restraint Your head should be at or above the center of the head restraint on your driver’s seat. Read more about Whiplash Prevention.