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Whiplash: What You Should Know About This Common Car Accident Injury

Neck pain is a common injury after a car accident. Joints, muscles, tendons, nerves and discs can suffer injury due to compression, torsion, rotation and shear force which can take place during a motor vehicle accident. 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?

Yes it can. Whiplash is the most common injury to occur due to car accidents affecting thousands of individuals around NSW 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 Physiotherapist 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 by a Physiotherapist and begin treatment early, to prevent further complications.

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

However minor your injury, it is highly recommended for you to see your GP before seeking any other forms of treatment. After a thorough Orthopaedic and Neurological exam, your Physiotherapist 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 time.

How to Treat Whiplash After a Car Accident

Most whiplash injuries can be treated through non-invasive treatment options provided by experienced Physiotherapists. Your Physiotherapist will assess your symptoms and provide a treatment plan that may include soft tissue techniques and mobilisations to the spine. They may also show you stretches to keep you active, as well as rehab exercises you can do at home.

Does Car Insurance Cover Whiplash Treatment?

If you’ve been in a car accident in NSW, the compulsory third party insurance scheme (CTP) will cover your medical expenses. Your GP will need to assess you and fill out appropriate paper work in order to start your claim. Physiotherapy treatment is covered under CTP insurance.

Should you have questions or concerns about your car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We have vast experience dealing with insurance companies and can guide you through the process.

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.

Get Relief From Your Whiplash Pain—Call Physiotherapy Professionals Parramatta

Have you suffered a car accident that resulted in whiplash or severe neck pain? A Physiotherapist can help. Reach out to us today.