Whiplash is a common injury when the neck is suddenly and forcefully jerked back and forth. Whiplash recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the damage and other factors. In this guide, we’ll explore the key factors impacting whiplash recovery time, what we can do for you, and provide tips for managing symptoms during the healing process.
What is whiplash, and how does it happen?
Pain caused by whiplash can be excruciating. Whiplash happens when your body jolts abruptly and you are stationary. It happens most frequently when another driver rear-ends you. When this occurs, the impact force pushes your body backward and forward. While your seatbelt restrains your torso, your neck snaps back and forward violently since it has nothing restricting movement. That violent motion can cause damage to the very fragile structure of your neck.
Symptoms of whiplash and when to seek medical attention.
Whiplash can cause many symptoms. Common symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These symptoms may not appear immediately after the injury and can take several hours or even days to develop. If you experience any of these symptoms after a head or neck injury, immediately seek medical attention. In our blog, Whiplash Injuries, we cover in more detail the causes of whiplash, its symptoms, and the delayed effects of whiplash.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Whiplash?
Patients often ask us, “How long does it take to recover from whiplash?” Recovery time depends on many factors. Three key determining factors are:
- The patient’s age.
- The patient’s health status.
- The severity of the trauma to the body.
Other factors that can affect the severity of injury are:
- The speed of impact
- The size of the vehicle’s mass
Our team’s first goal is to reduce your pain and spasms without using harmful drugs or invasive surgery. We follow the initial treatment by achieving an improved range of motion and joint function. Your recovery plan can include the following:
- Chiropractic treatment
- Physical rehabilitation
- Rejuvenating therapies
So, following emergency care, the first thing to do is call us to evaluate your condition. Delaying treatment can lead to a greater probability of permanent injury and delayed healing.
Tips for Speeding Up the Recovery Process
While whiplash recovery time can vary, some tips can help speed up healing. Rest is essential in the early stages of recovery, but it’s also important to gradually increase activity and exercise as tolerated. Physical therapy exercises can help improve your range of motion and strengthen the neck muscles. We may suggest you apply heat to the affected area to increase blood flow, decrease muscle spasms, and increases range of motion to reduce joint and muscle pain (see our blog Heat vs. Cold Therapy).
The time it takes to resolve whiplash directly relates to your unique condition. But rest assured, time after time; we find our patients get well faster and with less pain than most other more invasive surgeries and treatments. However, if you are not a good candidate for our services, we will happily refer you to another provider.
If you are looking for a non-surgical option for neck pain relief from whiplash in Myrtle Beach, Carolina Forest, Murrells Inlet, Garden City, Forest Brook, Conway, Little River, Longs, or any nearby city in South Carolina, call us today at (843) 449-1000 to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Dr. Craig Strickland, DC
Carolina Rehab & Physical Medicine Center