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How Long Do the Effects of Whiplash Last?


The time it takes to recover from your whiplash injury will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the extent of the neck injury. Sometimes a whiplash injury will go away in a couple of days, while other times it might take weeks or even months for the effects of the injury to disappear. However, it is important to remember that each person recovers from whiplash at their own rate.

The symptoms of whiplash can sometimes take between 24 and 48 hours to appear. Because whiplash symptoms are slow to appear, these injuries often go unreported or untreated. If you are in an accident that causes a whip-like movement of your head, look out for the following symptoms for at least a day or two after the incident:

  • Blurred Vision
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Ringing In Your Ears
  • Pain in Your Jaw

Symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years after they have developed. You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you begin to experience discomfort or any of the symptoms above. The specific parts of your body that are affected by the injury will play a significant part in determining how long your whiplash will last. The Whiplash Prevention Campaign says, “Some scientists believe that the cause of long-term whiplash symptoms is due to damage of nerves and that the cause of short-term pain may be minor injury to the muscles.”

How Do Whiplash Injuries Occur?

Neck injuries like whiplash can cause serious long term health problems. Whiplash happens when an impact forces the head to move in one direction and then in the opposite direction very quickly. This type of motion causes the structures inside the neck to be stretched too far. Injuries that can occur with whiplash include:

  • Straining or spraining of the muscles and tendons in the neck
  • Pinching, straining, or inflammation of the nerves in the neck
  • Stretching or tearing of the ligaments in the neck
  • Damage to the capsule surrounding the joints in the neck
  • Fracturing of the vertebrae

Having the right treatment plan, necessary medical attention, and time to recover plays a huge factor in a person’s recovery time. It’s important to follow the treatment recommendation that your doctor makes if you want your recovery to move along quickly. Common treatments include:

  • Icing the Neck: Reduces the swelling and the pain
  • Prescription Medication: Helps manage inflammatory pain and assists with rest & recovery
  • Neck Brace or Medical Collar: Supports the neck so it heals without extra strain
  • Massage or Moist Heat: Useful if the pain persists after icing the affected area

If you have suffered whiplash because of an accident, you might be eligible to seek financial compensation for your injury expenses. The legal team at Flanagan & Associates can assist with your injury claim and help you secure the justice you deserve. We will take on any insurer to get you a fair settlement.

Call (781) 332-4344, or contact our Quincy personal injury lawyer to talk about your case today.