Getting your life back on track after sustaining whiplash can be a long and hard road. Whiplash injuries often result in chronic pain and reduced mobility, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. If you’re suffering from this type of injury, this overview of the whiplash recovery process will help you get back on your feet.
What is whiplash?
Affecting the neck and upper back, whiplash occurs when the head gets jerked backwards and forwards suddenly. This movement strains the muscles and tendons in the neck, resulting in soft tissue damage.
People with whiplash often find it difficult to turn their head without experiencing discomfort. Your neck may feel stiff and painful after you’ve sustained whiplash, and sufferers often report having a headache at the base of their skull.
In some cases, whiplash injuries can worsen with time. Your neck may only start to hurt several hours or even days after the accident. This delayed onset can complicate the process of diagnosing a whiplash injury, as it may take you a while to realise how badly you’ve been hurt.
If you’ve sustained whiplash, taking the following steps can help minimise the severity of your injury:
- Ice your neck – Applying ice to your neck is an effective way to reduce pain and swelling.
- Wear a neck brace – Moving your head too soon can worsen your whiplash injury. Your doctor may recommend wearing a brace to stabilise
your neck (keep in mind that neck braces aren’t suitable for long-term use, as they can compromise the strength of the muscles in your neck).
- Take pain killers – The pain associated with whiplash can be excruciating. If deemed safe by your doctor, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to manage any discomfort caused by your injury.
In addition to these initial treatments, physical exercise can help speed up the whiplash recovery and healing process. Once your injury has been assessed by a doctor and you have medical clearance to begin rehabilitation, doing gentle stretching exercises can help reduce the stiffness in your neck. By moving your head a little more each day, you should eventually regain full mobility.
Whiplash Recovery Time
Minor cases of whiplash usually get better on their own after a few weeks, but more severe cases can take months or even years to fully heal. In cases where the pain doesn’t subside after 6 months, you may have chronic whiplash. Treated with muscles relaxants and physical therapy, chronic whiplash can make it difficult to do anything that involves physical movement. This can make it difficult to earn income and cover your medical expenses.
If your whiplash injury was caused by negligence, you may be able to claim compensation. Contact Sinnamon Lawyers to learn more about your legal options.