How Long Does It Take Whiplash To Heal


Practical Management Of Whiplash: A Guide For Patients

How long does whiplash last?

Despite the new evidence about the mechanics of whiplash and the overriding social and legal implications of whiplash, physicians still are called upon to offer practical self-help advice to their patients on what they can or cannot do. The consensus on whiplash management is currently settling upon a combination of therapeutic approaches, which include patient information, reassurance, and mobilization or activation through neck-specific exercises. This approach has not been scientifically validated, but is a synthesis of the best current evidence. The following hand-out approach was first authored by the Physical Medicine Research Foundation in its work on the BC Whiplash Initiative, under the name Neck Talk, and is based on the works in this edition of the BC Medical Journal as well as previous review publications that developed from the World Congress on Whiplash, Vancouver 1999, which also included works from the Quebec Task Force.

Please photocopy and freely distribute the following pages to patients .

Competing interests

During the years about 1996 to 1999 Dr Allen received honoraria, fees for speaking, fees for organizing education, and reimbursement from the Physical Medicine Research Foundation for matters related to the British Columbia Whiplash Initiative. PMRF was funded by a research grant from the Insurance Corporation of BC . Dr Allen is no longer involved with PMRF or ICBC.

Practical management of whiplash – Patient handout – PDF format

What Kind Of Treatments Are Available

When diagnosing whiplash, your medical provider will consider the specifics of your accident, your pain level, and may use x-rays or other tests to ensure there is not additional neck damage.

The good news is that given enough time, your neck muscles and tendons will heal with the right medical attention, recovery time, and treatment plan. While you should always follow your doctors advice, some common treatments can include:

  • Icing the neck. This can help reduce the swelling and reduce pain.
  • Take painkillers if recommended by your doctor. Anti-inflammatory drugs can help with the pain and swelling, allowing you to rest and recover.
  • Neck brace or collar may help some patients. If you need additional support, a neck collar recommended by your doctor can allow your neck to heal without additional strain.
  • Other treatments like massage, or moist heat after a few days of icing the area, can also improve your ability to recover from your injuries.

Whiplash is a common injury in an auto accident, but it doesnt have to hold you back for long. Seeking medical attention quickly can help ensure you have a treatment plan that will help your neck heal and recover from the injury as quickly and fully as possible.

How Long Does It Take To Heal From Whiplash

Whiplash is a very common auto accident injury in Decatur, GA.

Whiplash is a soft tissue injury caused by a jerking, sometimes violent movement your body makes during a collision.

Even a low-impact accident in Decatur, like a rear-end collision, can cause damage to the neck muscles and ligaments, causing them to become inflamed or even torn.

People with whiplash might not notice any symptoms at first and it may take a few days or longer for symptoms to present themselves.

Severe cases of whiplash can last for a long time and will require more extensive treatment.

Seeking medical treatment after a traumatic accident no matter how you feel can help you recover faster and help ensure there are no long-lasting complications.

In the article below, we will look at how long it could take to heal from a whiplash injury in Decatur.

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How Long Does Whiplash Last

One of the most common types of injuries sustained during a car crash is whiplash, a soft tissue injury caused by the sudden jerking movements the body makes upon impact. Even a low-impact collision like being rear-ended can cause this damage to the muscles and ligaments in the neck, causing them to become inflamed or even torn. While the condition heals over time, it can be painful and cause a loss in movement while it heals. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may carry long term consequences when not treated properly by a whiplash chiropractor.

Is Bed Rest Good For Whiplash

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Whiplash: DMC Healthcare ...

Two of the best sleeping positions:

Sleeping on the back keeps extra tension from building up, not only in the neck but throughout other parts of the body also, including the back. Still being sure the neck is properly supported and aligned, choosing this option will help you alleviate pain in the neck.

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How Long Does It Take For A Whiplash Injury To Heal In Savannah

If you’ve ever suffered from whiplash after a car accident in Savannah, GA, you know how painful whiplash can really be.

And you likely want it to heal as fast as possible.

Our Savannah Whiplash Chiropractor can help you heal.

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs as a result of an impact that causes your head to jerk forward or backward, causing strain on your neck that can be mild, moderate, or severe.

Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure how long it will take your whiplash to heal.

No two people or two accidents are exactly alike, so no two people will heal the same way or at the same rate.

On average, it takes people 2-3 months to heal from their whiplash injury.

But again, healing times will vary from person to person and depend on factors like age, physical health, mental health, and occupation.

Also, people with severe whiplash injuries will take longer to make a complete recovery.

About one-third of people with whiplash report still having issues after a year and some people suffer from chronic pain or headaches for years following their accident.

In the article below, we will look at how long it can take to heal from a whiplash injury in Savannah, GA.

Is Whiplash Worse At Night

Symptoms typically arise between 12 and 24 hours after the accident. However, pain and stiffness from whiplash is typically worse on the day following the accident and may continue to worsen with each day . Many patients report that their level of discomfort is highest first thing in the morning and at night .

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Recovery Time For Chronic Whiplash

For those involved in a more serious accident, there can be severe pain and difficulty moving the neck and head, and full symptoms may only present themselves a days after the impact.

Severe whiplash injuries can last for months, and on rare occasions, the symptoms may never fully disappear. The pain and stiffness in the neck can be accompanied with upper or lower back pain, severe headaches, sleepless nights and affected vision among other symptoms.

Recovery time may depend on the treatment you seek for your injuries. Long term physiotherapy or rehabilitation may be required.

Do Some People Have An Increased Risk Of Whiplash

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Unfortunately, some people are more prone than others to develop whiplash after an accident or other injury.

Risk factors include:

  • Being hit from behind in an auto accident This makes it likely that your neck will suffer the violent back-and-forth motion that causes whiplash.
  • Being hit when your car is stopped The sudden forceful motion makes the chance of injury worse.
  • Being a woman Since women are usually smaller, they are more vulnerable to the effects of violent neck movement.
  • Having a history of neck pain Pre-existing problems make you more susceptible to injury in this area.

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Recovery Time For Whiplash

If you’re lucky, you may have only a few days of neck or upper back pain.

Mild cases of whiplash can be treated with pain pills like ibuprofen, and symptoms usually subside within a few weeks.

However, painkillers should never be a long-term option for your pain.

You want to keep your neck mobile and avoid putting it in a neck brace.

A neck collar can actually impair the recovery process.

If you were in a severe accident, you will likely have severe pain and difficulty moving your neck and head.

Severe whiplash injuries can last for months.

On rare occasions, symptoms may never entirely disappear.

Pain and stiffness in your neck may be accompanied by upper or lower back pain, severe headaches, sleepless nights, and affected vision, among other symptoms.

Your recovery time will depend on the treatment you seek for your injuries.

Common Symptoms Of Whiplash

The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain.

Most symptoms of whiplash will appear within 24 hours after the accident.

Whiplash symptoms can last for several weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. Common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Problems with focus
  • Ringing in the ears

After experiencing a whiplash injury, whether mild or severe, you must visit your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.

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How To Make A Whiplash Compensation Claim

You may be able to claim compensation for whiplash if youve been injured in a road accident that wasnt your fault.

Our comprehensive guide to making a claim explains your legal rights and what to expect from the claims process.

With nearly 300 combined years of legal experience, our solicitors tailor-made whiplash claims process takes care of the complex legal work for you.

What Is The Fastest Way To Recover From Whiplash

How Long Does It Take for a Whiplash Injury to Heal?

If you think you have whiplash, you should take some immediate steps to minimise the recovery time. You can wrap some ice or a bag of frozen peas in a towel and apply to the sore areas for 20 minutes at a time and take painkillers.

However, its advisable to see a GP or go to A& E for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Because whiplash symptoms may take some time to appear, you might feel ok for several hours or even several days after the accident before developing symptoms. These symptoms can last for days, weeks, months and even years, depending on the severity of your injury.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Whiplash

The pain of whiplash is often hard to ignore. The symptoms may include:

  • Pain, decreased range of motion, and tightness in the neck. The muscles may feel hard or knotted.
  • Pain when rocking your head from side to side or backward and forward.
  • Pain or stiffness when moving your head to look over each shoulder.
  • Tenderness.
  • Headaches at the base of the skull that radiate towards the forehead.

Sometimes, the pain of a neck strain is immediate. In other cases, it can take several hours or days before your neck begins to hurt.

The blow that causes neck strain can sometimes cause a concussion, too. Since concussions can be serious, you need to see a doctor right away. You need emergency medical care if you have a headache that worsens or persists, have weakness or trouble talking, or are confused, dizzy, nauseous, excessively sleepy, or unconscious.

To diagnose neck strain, your doctor will give you a thorough examination. You may also need X-rays, CT scans, and other tests, to rule out other problems.

Damages Can Help You Recover From Whiplash

Whiplash, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, often causes symptoms such as:

  • Pain or stiffness in the neck, shoulders, or lower back
  • Vertigo and other vision problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Pain or numbness in an arm or hand

While most whiplash cases are treatable, these symptoms have the potential to wreak havoc on your career, finances, and personal life. You could qualify for any or all of the following types of damages, depending on how your whiplash injury has affected you:

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Key Points About Whiplash

  • Whiplash injury is poorly understood, but usually involves the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in your neck.

  • It is caused by the neck bending forcibly forward and then backward, or vice versa.

  • Many whiplash injuries occur if you are involved in a rear-end automobile collision.

  • Your healthcare provider will determine specific treatment for your whiplash.

How Long Does It Take Whiplash To Heal

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How To Treat Whiplash Injury

So, what can we do right now to prevent us from ending up in that five to 10% of people who have permanent symptoms after whiplash? If you get rear-ended, if another car bumps into you, how do we avoid that? You want to make sure that you have a good range of motion. Chiropractic adjustments will help. Getting some curvature into your neck is really important. You can take a regular 16.9-ounce water bottle and put it behind your neck. You can do home stretching exercises to make sure that you keep good motion and good curvature into your neck.

The other thing is to reduce systemic inflammation. Make sure youre eating a diet of mostly lean meats and vegetables. Avoid a lot of wheat, grains, pasta because that omega fatty acid profile and ratio plays a big role in your systemic inflammation. We want to make sure that we are avoiding all kinds of other toxins that are going to increase the amount of systemic inflammation in our bodies. You can reach me at with any questions you might have about whiplash injuries.

About Dr. Merrill

Some Instances Of Whiplash Are Chronic

Mayo Clinic notes that the severity of your initial symptoms will determine your recovery period. For instance, following your car accident, if you were in severe pain or had a limited range of motion in your arms, you could face a longer recovery period than someone who did not experience these symptoms.

If you had whiplash before, this could also extend the amount of time it takes for your injury to heal. According to the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, if a person gets whiplash a second time, then they may have worse symptoms than they did the first time around.

Additionally, pre-existing lower back or neck pain, combined with a high-speed impact, could also impede your ability to recover in a timely manner.

For a free legal consultation, call

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What Should I Avoid When I Have Whiplash

Avoid heavy lifting, punching or pulling, or contact sports like rugby and boxing, until your symptoms improve. Check with your doctor or healthcare professional before you to start these activities again.

Take care when lifting, bending or carrying out repetitive twisting movements. Make sure that you take regular breaks.

Resting, taking time off work or wearing a collar are not likely to help you recover from whiplash. Dont do these without first speaking with your doctor or physiotherapist.

How Long Does It Take For Whiplash To Heal


If you have ever suffered from whiplash as a result of an accident or injury, you know just how painful it can be. Whiplash occurs as a result of an impact which makes the head jerk forward or backward, causing neck strain, and can be mild, moderate or severe. If you are wondering how long it will take for your whiplash symptoms to go away, we have some answers for you.

First of all, there is no set amount of time for recovery from whiplash. Depending on the force of the blow that caused the whiplash in the first place, the level of treatment and rest the neck is given, as well as other factors specific to the individual suffering from whiplash, it can last anywhere from a few days to several months. In fact, some patients report having some of the symptoms of whiplash for years after the accident or injury they suffered.

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How Does Whiplash Occur

Whiplash occurs when the head is jolted forward and then snaps back. This type of injury is most common in road traffic accidents and can happen irrespective of the speed of the impact.

Likened to the cracking of a whip, the sudden movement in the neck damages the tendons and ligaments and can be very painful, with many additional symptoms other than a sore neck.

Whiplash occurs when the force of an impact is felt most in the head and neck as they are thrown forwards or back while your body remains in position because of your seatbelt.

Injuries can be more severe if your head is turned at the time of the collision, or if youre not expecting it.

Scientific studies show whiplash injuries can be sustained at low speeds of as little as 5 miles per hour , although insurers can challenge injury claims involving low-speed impacts.

This is usually all to do with the individual circumstances of the direction of impact and position in the vehicle. Additionally, the size of the passenger or driver makes a difference in the resulting injury. A small female will experience two to four times the head linear acceleration as a larger male in the same crash. The male, however, will experience greater rearward bending. .

Car accidents arent the only cause of whiplash, any sudden movement of the head and neck can cause whiplash injuries, but it is one of the most common injuries as a result of road traffic accidents.

How Do I Know If I Have Whiplash

Sometimes you can have no symptoms after a whiplash injury, but sometimes your symptoms can be severe.

Pain from a whiplash injury often begins 6 to 12 hours after the injury. You may just feel uncomfortable on the day of the injury or accident and find that your pain, swelling and bruising increase over the following days.

Common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • neck problems: pain, stiffness, swelling or tenderness
  • difficulty moving your neck
  • difficulties swallowing or blurred vision

Your symptoms are likely to greatly improve or disappear within a few days to weeks. It may take longer for your symptoms to resolve completely and you might even experience some pain and neck stiffness for months after a whiplash injury.

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