What is it? and why am I not getting better?
Whiplash injury is a common term for the acceleration-deceleration forces on the neck which may occur in rear-end or side impact motor vehicle collisions, sports accidents and/or other mishaps. These forces may result in painful injuries to the muscles, ligaments and joints of the neck and other spinal areas. However, sometimes they result in no injury or pain at all.
Symptoms may vary in whiplash injury victims
Symptoms may appear immediately after the incident or have a delayed onset of a few hours or days. Many people recover within a few days or weeks, but for others it may take several weeks to months to experience positive changes in symptoms. Ongoing symptoms during recovery will fluctuate in their intensity and this is normal. Research is being conducted worldwide to understand why there is a variable recovery rate between different people. Some factors have been identified – for example, age and initial severity of the injury. However, there is still more to be learned.
How Do I Recover From Whiplash injury?
As time passes since the whiplash injury, you may be asking yourself a few questions.
- Will I get better?
- Will I have a full recovery?
- What can I do to speed up my recovery?
- Can I do the same activities as before? Is it safe?
- Do I have any limitations?
Some people recover within days of the accident while for others, it may take several months and occasionally one or two years. Research has shown that it is better to try to maintain your normal daily activities to speed up recovery. After a whiplash injury, you may need to modify some activities to care for your neck, but you should gradually resume normal activity. The majority of people who sustain a whiplash injury make a full recovery with no limitations.
What can I do at home to recover from Whiplash?
How tasks are performed each day can have an impact on your recovery. Don’t place unnecessary stress on the muscles and joints of your neck.
- Change your posture frequently throughout the day.
- Assume the upright stressfree posture for short periods regularly throughout the day. You can stop your pain.
- Carry lighter weights – bags, briefcases, shopping bags. Prevent the strains of unnecessary weight.
- Rotate work, household and garden chores. Joints and muscles like activity but not to excess.
- Change from one task to another if you notice that you are experiencing increased discomfort with that task.