Whiplash is a common injury that can occur after a car accident, sports injury, or other traumatic event. In some cases, the pain and stiffness of whiplash can last for years or even a lifetime. It is important to seek medical attention immediately after experiencing symptoms of whiplash or being involved in a car accident, as the long-term effects of untreated whiplash can have a serious and negative impact on health. The most common symptom of whiplash is severe neck pain, followed by ongoing headaches.
Psychological problems, such as depression, are also common when neck pain persists beyond three months. Other symptoms include dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and headaches that persist for several months after the injury. The goal of whiplash treatment is to control existing pain, restore normal range of motion in the neck and injured areas, and return you to an active, normal state. A physical therapist or chiropractor can perform an exam to recognize the signs and symptoms of whiplash and create an individualized treatment plan for your recovery, which usually includes a combination of pain medications and specific exercise.
For most people, whiplash resolves within months with appropriate medical treatment. However, a 2001 study published in Neurology found that nearly 8% of whiplash victims are unable to return to their normal activity levels more than a year after the accident due to pain and stiffness caused by whiplash. If you have neck pain or other symptoms of whiplash after a car accident, sports injury, or other traumatic injury, it is important to see your doctor for a quick and accurate diagnosis and rule out broken bones or other damage that could cause or worsen symptoms. Even if your whiplash resolves within a few weeks or months with medical treatment, you may still be entitled to financial compensation if the underlying accident occurred due to someone else's negligence.