How Long Does Whiplash Last?

Whiplash is a neck injury people typically get after a forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement in the neck. Its name refers to the quick motion of the neck during this type of accident, like the crack of a whip. It most often happens during a car accident if another vehicle strikes the car from behind. The impact from the car striking the back bumper propels the driver’s and passenger’s bodies forward while their heads stay in place. When the neck and head is pulled in the same direction after another second, the sudden movement causes extreme extension and flexion, which causes injury to the soft tissues of the neck.

However, other things could cause whiplash, or hyperextension/hyperflexion injuries, as well. Contact sports, assaults, skiing/snowboarding accidents, repetitive stress injuries at work, child abuse, slip and fall accidents, and car and truck accidents not involving a rear-end impact can also cause the same amount of soft-tissue damage.

Symptoms of whiplash often include:

  • Neck pain / stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder / arm / back pain
  • Unusual sensations (such as burning, prickling, tingling in the arms)
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Various cognitive or psychological difficulties

Few people experience long-term complications from whiplash. However, these symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has found that most people recover fully within 3 months. For those who do experience long-term difficulties, they might experience chronic pain or headaches for years after their accident. Some doctors can trace this pain to damaged neck joints, ligaments, or disks, but most chronic pain following whiplash accidents have no medical explanation.

If you sustained a whiplash injury, see a doctor as soon as possible. You may need to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for any medical care you might need. If your request is denied, or you need help with filing a claim, contact one of our knowledgeable Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys. We have more than a century of collective experience representing people in court and in settlement proceedings for their wounds. Our clients are also extremely satisfied with our results. Contact us at (888) 498-3023 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation. Let us get you the compensation you deserve.

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