Whiplash is an injury that occurs due to rapid and forceful back and forth neck motion, common during rear-end auto accidents. Whiplash is sometimes known as a neck strain or sprain, but the terms include other neck injuries.
Most people recover from whiplash after a few weeks of treatment, but the condition becomes chronic for others. Here is more information on how long the symptoms of whiplash last.
Causes Of Whiplash
Whiplash results from quick and forceful head movement. It can injure bones and other neck tissues. Whiplash injury usually occurs after:
- Auto accidents.
- Physical assault.
- Injuries during contact sports.
- Blows to the head.
- Falls that cause the head to jerk violently.
- Workplace injuries.
Whiplash injury can be mild or severe, depending on the individual.
Symptoms Of Whiplash
Symptoms of the injury include neck stiffness and pain, restricted motion in the neck, and headaches. There may be pain and tenderness in the arms, shoulder, and upper back. Some people experience numbness or tingling in the arms, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, sleep issues, and ringing in the eras.
Other symptoms are depression, irritability, memory problems, and difficulties with concentration. Most symptoms appear hours or days after the accident or injury.
How Long Symptoms Last
Whiplash results in trauma to the nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and vertebrae in the neck. Forceful neck movement can cause the cervical spine to get out of alignment. Depending on the severity, a whiplash injury can last longer and have a lasting effect on an individual’s health and mobility.
Patients who experience intense or severe symptoms in the early stages are more likely to have chronic pain. It is crucial to get immediate treatment after an accident.
Risk Factors For Whiplash
Some factors can increase the risk of complications from whiplash. The factors include:
- Having an earlier whiplash injury.
- Being older.
- Experiencing a quick injury.
- Having existing neck or lower back pain.
If you are at high risk of getting whiplash, you should get medical treatment immediately after an accident. Do not wait for symptoms to appear since you might not feel any pain for hours after the incident.
Treatment For Whiplash
Failing to get prompt treatment for whiplash can result in chronic and persistent pain and other symptoms. However, the injuries heal within a few weeks if they occur on the soft tissues.
Stress on the tissues can lead to spinal misalignments or subluxations, so getting chiropractic care will help reduce the symptoms. A chiropractor will evaluate the neck injury to determine the best treatment.
Whiplash pain may delay in a phenomenon known as late whiplash syndrome. The shock from an accident can dull the pain sensation for days or weeks. You may not realize that you have an injury soon after the incident, leading you to stress the body, causing more damage. If pain persists for more than 10 weeks, it can indicate additional injuries.
For more on how long symptoms of whiplash last, call Oropeza Chiropractic Wellness Center at (305) 440-1614 to reach our office in Key West, Florida.