If you’ve been in a car accident, you may have experienced whiplash. Whiplash is a term that generally refers to the acceleration and deceleration of the neck after an impact. This often happens with car accidents but also occurs with falls, collisions and impacts during sports.
Common symptoms include pain and aching in the neck, back, shoulders and headaches. Sometimes the pain comes on immediately after the injury, but often the pain comes on several days afterwards.
Full recovery from whiplash is essential to eliminate living with unnecessary pain and discomfort and to prevent future injury.
What are the telltale signs that you haven’t recovered from whiplash and are in need additional help? Here are six strong signals.
Your mood is…pretty moody
If you’re not sleeping well because of aches and pains, your body likely isn’t getting enough rest. And, sleep and emotional health are deeply interconnected. If you’re sleep deprived you’re more vulnerable to irritability and challenges dealing with stress.
You’re still taking pain medication
Needing pain medication, even something over-the-counter, more than a few weeks after an injury is a sign that things are not healing as well as they should be.
Your neck, back or shoulder range of motion is limited
If you’re having difficulty looking side to side or moving your head up and down months after an injury, you may be more likely to have a future injury. It’s critical to restore full range of motion in joints and muscles to allow your body to work at its optimal level.
Your progress has plateaued
Your body normally does a great job of healing after injury without any assistance. Sometimes, people get stuck and feel like they’re 80% recovered and stay there for months or years.
You have frequent headaches
Trauma to the head and neck are common causes of headaches. If you didn’t suffer from headaches prior to you injury, it’s likely that sensitive muscles and joints of the neck may be the underlying source.
Your focus and concentration are faltering
Being uncomfortable, not sleeping well and not moving normally all negatively impact our ability to work and be productive. Dealing with pain and soreness zaps your energy making it more difficult to focus.
After reading these symptoms, if you suspect you might not be recovering from whiplash, make sure to talk to a physical therapist who specializes in spine care who can help you get back on track. You owe it to yourself to feel your best!
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