Three ways a physical therapist can help cut how long whiplash lasts

How Long Does Whiplash Last

Whiplash isn’t just an injury you developed during a car accident or while playing sports. It’s a problem that can bleed into every single task you do every day. And, this problem can last for quite some time. 

Whiplash occurs when the head is whipped violently back and forth. It affects a significant number of people every year. Medical researchers have found that up to 1 million people develop whiplash annually. Anyone who develops whiplash may be wondering how long it can last. A physical therapist can supply the answer to this query. 

How long does whiplash last? 

Like most injuries, how long whiplash lasts can vary from person to person. In general, the symptoms of whiplash often affect people for three months or less. However, there is also a strong possibility that whiplash symptoms can become long-term. The Cleveland Clinic reports that up to 50% of whiplash patients still have persistent neck pain a year after they were injured. You may be more likely to develop chronic symptoms if you experience severe pain when you’re first injured. Not getting your injury addressed right away can also be a factor. 

What can physical therapists do to minimize how long whiplash lasts?

Why turn to physical therapists for help with whiplash? Physical therapists can do a lot to help people with this injury. Many of the steps they can take are aimed at helping reduce how long whiplash lasts or easing its symptoms. A few of the steps your physical therapist can take to help you with whiplash include: 

1. Providing education — Did you know that many whiplash sufferers end up dealing with their injury for a long time? You may not have before you started reading this blog post. Many whiplash sufferers are in exactly the same position when they first meet with a physical therapist. Fortunately, these professionals can help educate you about whiplash. They can even help you learn how significant the risk of chronic symptoms is. 

2. Directly targeting injured structures — Whiplash typically injures neck, shoulder and back structures. Often, the structures that are injured include muscles, tendons and spinal discs. Yet many treatment options, like painkillers, just mask your symptoms and count on your body to naturally heal itself. 

Physical therapists can help your body’s natural healing processes by directly addressing the injured structures. PT techniques like soft tissue mobilization can help ease soft tissue tension and boost blood flow to the injured tissue. Also, your physical therapist can use targeted exercises to help improve strength and flexibility in the injured area. 

3. Making your whole life part of the treatment process — There’s only so much time you can spend working with a physical therapist. But the more time you spend rehabbing, the better. Physical therapists can help you spend more time on your recovery by making your whole life a part of your treatment process. Some ways they can do so are by: 

  • Showing you how to do normal daily tasks in ways that don’t aggravate your injury. 
  • Helping you learn how to sit, stand and move around with good posture. 
  • Providing ergonomic suggestions intended to help make your work and home environments safer and more beneficial to your healing.

Slash how long your whiplash lasts with help from Excel PT

Keen to minimize how long your whiplash symptoms last? Our Excel Sports & Physical Therapy clinics are places where this and other recovery goals can be met. Our physical therapists can evaluate the severity of your injury during a free screening. In addition, they can combine your needs, goals and multiple therapy techniques into a recovery plan designed to help you recover as fast as possible. 

Contact our team today for more information about our whiplash treatment options or to schedule an initial appointment to begin treating your injury.