How Long Does Back Pain Last After a Rear-End Collision?
The duration of your back pain after an accident depends on the severity of your injury. In some cases, back pain from a rear-end collision goes away after only a few days or weeks. In other cases, you might have sustained an injury that will require chiropractic treatment.
Even if you went to an emergency room after your accident, you still might be injured. The ER staff can detect life threatening injuries or major fractures. However, a subtle injury might go undetected by the doctor. That's where a chiropractor comes in.
If you're reading this article because you have recently been in an accident, know that it will get better. Trusting your instincts and getting help as soon as possible can make all the difference when it comes to recovery. Here are some things to know about back pain after an accident:
How long does whiplash last?
The term whiplash refers to a sudden jerking of the head and neck that causes injury. Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions. According to the American Society of Craniofacial Pain, the injury can affect the muscles, ligaments, joints, tendons, and bones in the neck and head.
It can cause pain, headaches, dizziness, and disturbed sleep. The intensity of the pain can vary widely, which makes it difficult to predict how long the pain will last. The amount of time it takes to recover also depends on the severity of the injury. In most cases, whiplash symptoms gradually improve over several weeks or months.
However, in some cases, whiplash requires chiropractic help.
What causes whiplash?
In a rear-end collision, the sudden impact of another car pushes your vehicle rearward, which causes your head and neck to jolt forward. The sudden jerking motion would cause your head and neck to suddenly whip backward and forwards. This sudden jerking motion could cause ligaments and muscles in your neck to be strained or sprained.
It could also cause your vertebrae to move out of place. If you have previous injuries in the neck or spine, they could be aggravated by this type of motion. So if you're feeling back pain after your accident, particularly near the neck, it could be whiplash.
Recovery time for back pain after a rear-end collision
The amount of time you spend in recovery will vary based on the severity of your injuries. Generally, the less severe your injuries are, the quicker you are likely to recover. You could start to feel better within a few days. However, you could suffer from chronic back pain. That's also more likely if you have preexisting injuries, whether you know about them or not.
How to recover from a rear end collision
- Rest: If you are in pain, rest is one of the best ways to help your body recover. Avoid activities that make your pain worse, such as heavy lifting and moving furniture.
- Ice: Applying ice to your back is a great way to reduce swelling and pain. Put a bag of frozen vegetables in a plastic bag and place it against your back.
- Visit a chiropractor: The sooner you find out about the extent of your injuries, the sooner you'll be able to recover. A chiropractor uses imaging and other techniques to find the extent of your injuries.
I want to make a quick note about legal protection and rear-end collisions. If you plan on taking legal action against the driver that rear-ended you, it's very important to see a chiropractor. The lawyers on the other side of the table are going to try and minimize your injuries. Like I mentioned above, the ER isn't going to detect subtle injuries. Being seen by a chiropractor can increase your odds of getting the settlement you want.
If you experience back pain after a rear-end collision, know that it's normal and you aren't alone. It's common for people to experience some level of back pain after this type of collision. Most people feel better within a few days or weeks at most. You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, getting plenty of rest, and being evaluated by a chiropractor.
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