How Long Does Whiplash Last?

Whiplash can be an incredibly frustrating, painful injury to deal with. This kind of injury could take a long period to recover from. Equally, you could find that you’re feeling better just a short while later.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissue in your neck. It is caused by the head jerking forwards, stretching the tissues and damaging them. This typically happens in car accidents, when your head snaps forward. It is most common when your stationary vehicle is hit from behind.

You can also suffer a whiplash injury from certain sporting activities, including rugby, boxing and martial arts. It is also possible to suffer a whiplash injury from a fall or if you suffer a blow to the head.

With it being such a common injury after car accidents, claiming for whiplash compensation is a relatively straightforward process. This means that if you decide you want justice for the accident you were involved in, it shouldn’t be complicated.

How long does whiplash last?

How long you experience symptoms of whiplash for will depend on the severity of the injury you suffered. This means that in minor cases, you can start feeling better after a few days.

In the majority of cases, you’ll notice a difference in your symptoms after some weeks. According to the NHS, whiplash will usually get better “within two to three months”.

If you’ve suffered particularly major damage to your neck tissue, you might find that you are still in pain months after the injury happened. If this happens, you should visit your doctor again. They will likely recommend further treatment.

It’s advisable that you shouldn’t resume any physical activity that you take part in – like sports – until you can do certain things without pain. These include looking over both shoulder, move your head all the way forward and backward, and move your head all the way to the left and the right. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before you get back to your normal level of activity.

How to treat whiplash

Not all instances of whiplash require treatment. In many cases, your injury will get better on its own. But there are some things you can do to help speed the process up.

As soon as possible after your injury, you should apply ice to your neck. This reduces swelling and pain, minimising the effects you’ll suffer from your accident. It’s advisable to do this for 15 minutes every three or four hours for up to three days after the accident.

You should also take painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol. If you’re still experiencing pain after taking these over the counter drugs, you may require a prescribed painkiller.

Contrary to popular opinion, neck braces and collars aren’t recommended for whiplash. It is advisable to keep your neck moving as normal. Avoid staying stationary for too long. It may be painful at first, but this will help to speed up your recovery.

What to do

That level of treatment isn’t the best option for everyone, though. Some people will benefit from more intense treatment to help them recover from a whiplash injury. Your doctor may recommend physiotherapy to help you get over the injury.

If you decide that making a claim for whiplash compensation is the right course of action for you, your solicitors may help to get you the most appropriate treatment as part of your settlement. Our friendly claims advisors are happy to talk you through your options for free and with no obligation to proceed.

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