Neck pain is a common ailment after a car accident. Joints, muscles, tendons, nerves and discs can suffer injury due to compression, torsion, rotation and shear force that occur simultaneously. These forces placed on the spine may cause severe neck pain, stiffness, loss of range of motion and much more.
Can Whiplash Occur Due to a Minor Car Accident?
As the most common injury to occur due to car accidents, millions of individuals around the US suffer from whiplash pain each year. Whiplash may occur during any collision, whether a small fender bender or a head-on collision. That is why it’s imperative to get examined by an experienced personal injury chiropractor before the symptoms worsen.
How Long After a Car Accident Does Whiplash Occur?
Whiplash may happen at any time during an accident, when forces of acceleration and deceleration are a cause of a collision. Most injuries due to whiplash are felt in the first 1-3 days, but some may arise at a later time. That is why it is crucial to get examined and begin treatment early, to prevent further complications.
How Long Does Whiplash Last?
After a thorough orthopedic and neurological exam, your chiropractic physician will diagnose the severity of your injury. Healing times depend on many factors, including your age and current health condition. In our experience, most injuries heal between 6 and 12 weeks, with more serious injuries taking a longer length of time.
How to Treat Whiplash After an Auto Accident
Most whiplash injuries can be treated through non-invasive treatment options provided by skilled chiropractors. Your chiropractor will assess your symptoms and provide a treatment plan that may include spinal adjustments, PNF stretching, traction and more. They may also prescribe rehab exercises you can do at home.
Does Car Insurance Cover Whiplash Treatment?
If you’ve been in a car accident and are not at fault, you’ll have coverage for your chiropractic treatment. The insurance company of the at-fault driver will cover the costs associated with your care. Should you have questions or concerns about your accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We have vast experience dealing with adjusters and car insurance companies.
Can Whiplash Be Prevented After a Car Accident?
Although you can’t necessarily avoid car accidents and the injuries they cause, you can help prevent serious whiplash injuries by following a few safety tips.
- Wear your seatbelt: Wearing your seatbelt will help you avoid many serious injuries. Your seatbelt positions your body and stabilizes you during a crash. Although studies exist that show seatbelts contribute to soft tissue injuries, they prevent life-threatening ones.
- Adjust your headrest: Make sure your headrest is directly behind and level to your head. Tilt the headrest forward, paying attention to the distance from the back of the head to the headrest. Less than four inches is the more desirable distance. This will help you prevent the sudden head-jerking movements that cause whiplash.
- Sit in an upright position: Remain upright as you drive without slumping or tilting to the side. Otherwise, you may miss your headrest, resulting in a more severe whiplash injury.