In a low-speed or low-impact car accident, many people are lucky enough to avoid very severe injuries. However, these types of crashes also put you at higher risk for injuries like whiplash. Named for the whipping motion your neck makes during a crash, whiplash is the most common car accident injury. While whiplash is common and typically heals with time and care, the severity of your case may vary based on a number of factors. Visiting a Jonesboro orthopedics specialist can help ensure your experience with whiplash is as quick and painless as possible.
When to Expect Symptoms
In the time immediately following an accident, it’s very common to feel no symptoms of whiplash at all. Your body can go into shock, or you may simply be so wrapped up in the event that you do not notice any pain that is happening. Over the next hours, or even days, you may not know you have been injured and can strain the injury site even further before symptoms appear.
Whether it is right after your crash, or days later, as soon as you begin to experience symptoms you should seek out an evaluation by a Jonesboro orthopedics specialist. With whiplash treatment, you are more likely to recover fully and in a shorter period of time.
Mild Whiplash Prognosis
When whiplash is very mild, it can clear up on its own with proper home care. As the swelling goes down, many people will begin to regain their mobility on their own. Icing the area and alternating with applying heat can help speed up the process of healing.
While it is rare to have a case of whiplash that heals in days or a few weeks, it can happen. Making sure to rest and not exacerbate the pain will be important as you begin to use your neck as normal. If you do not begin to feel relief quickly, you should seek the help of a Jonesboro orthopedics specialist.
Average Whiplash Prognosis
In most cases, the pain of whiplash will persist for somewhere between one and three months. The severity of this pain can range, but in many cases, it is enough to prevent someone from participating in their daily activities or even going to work until they are healed.
Once you have been diagnosed with whiplash, your Jonesboro orthopedics specialist will be able to assess the severity and determine what treatments will work best for your case. You will usually be asked to continue behaviors at home, such as ice and heat treatment and rest in addition to any medical treatments prescribed.
A common misconception is that during the time you are healing from whiplash, you will be asked to wear a neck brace or collar. However, most doctors do not recommend this as it prevents the neck from regaining strength and range of motion. You will be asked not to participate in any activities, like sports, that can exacerbate the injury, but will be expected to perform simple movements rather than keep the neck still.
In order to regain strength, you may be placed in physical therapy and given exercises to do at home. In addition to this physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments and pain management can carry you through the months it takes to heal.
Chronic Whiplash Prognosis
A small portion of people with whiplash will experience chronic symptoms for months or years after their accident. This commonly occurs in the form of headaches or chronic neck pain, which are usually the result of damage that occurred to the joints, discs, or ligaments during the initial injury. These cases are often treated with a long term pain management program and extensive physical therapy.
For some, this means that whiplash will simply take longer than 6 months to heal, rather than the typical shorter window. There are a small number of cases in which the neck never fully heals and the condition is lifelong. This can often be avoided with immediate diagnosis and a thorough treatment plan.
Assessing Your Whiplash Prognosis
If you have recently been in an accident, or are suffering from whiplash symptoms, it is important to be evaluated as soon as possible by a Jonesboro orthopedics specialist. At AICA Jonesboro, our orthopedic specialists work with a team of others who are experienced in treating car accident victims. We are committed to helping those suffering from whiplash to recover fully, using safe and effective treatment that is specifically designed to meet their needs. The team at AICA Jonesboro offers the expertise of car accident specialists and the staff needed to give customized, comprehensive care to each patient. Contact us today for an evaluation to help us plan your recovery.