How Long Does Whiplash Take To Heal?


By now you should know that you can get whiplash from a car crash. A car crash can result in a wide range of injuries, ranging from mild to more serious. Typically, crash injuries are categorized as external or internal. External injuries include cuts and bruises, lacerations, broken bones, crushed limbs, and other injuries that are visible. Internal injuries are not immediately visible yet they can cause a lot of pain and damage. A Charlotte car accident lawyer can help you recover damages for both types of injuries.

As a car crash victim, you may be inclined to take internal injuries lightly. However, that is a mistake. Even mild internal injuries such as a whiplash can take some time to heal. Here is a look at what is a whiplash injury, the treatment for the type of injury, and the time it takes for a whiplash to heal.

What Is Whiplash?

During a car crash, a collision may cause your head and neck to make a sudden jerk forward and backward. This jerk can strain the muscles in the neck area. This type of injury is known as a whiplash. Symptoms of a whiplash may not be immediately apparent but will become obvious some time later.

Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury

A number of symptoms characterize a whiplash injury. However most, if not all, of these symptoms are not immediately obvious. Symptoms for some whiplash injuries may become apparent a few hours later although in some cases, the symptoms can take a few days to be fully known.

Common symptoms of a whiplash injury include:

  • Severe neck pain
  • Limited neck mobility, preventing you from moving your neck back and forth or sideways
  • Inability to move your neck to look over your shoulder due to mobility limitations
  • Sensation of sharp pain at the base of the head
  • Feeling of nausea
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Chronic headaches

If you suffer these symptoms in the wake of a crash, it is very likely that you have suffered a whiplash injury. In such a case, it is important to consult a doctor at the earliest and initiate treatment for recovery.

Whiplash Injury Treatment

The actual treatment of a whiplash injury depends on the severity of your symptoms. If the pain and other symptoms are only mild, you only need time to heal. The symptoms are likely to go away on their own within 5 to 8 weeks.

In case your symptoms are on the severe side, you will need to adopt a treatment regimen. The ultimate purpose of this regimen would be to help you manage the symptoms until they go away. Activities that are typically recommended for this regimen include:

Cold Packs

Cold packs are very helpful in reducing inflammation and tenderness in the neck area following a whiplash injury. You should ideally use cold packs for the first few days after the injury.

Heat Treatment

Once the initial swelling and tenderness in your neck area are gone, you can use hot baths and application of gentle heat to the neck muscles and ligaments. This will prevent the muscles from becoming stiff and speed up your recovery.


Muscle relaxants and painkillers can be used to manage more severe cases of pain. You will need to consult your physician before deciding on the right medication for managing pain. Typical choices include ibuprofen and naproxen.

Neck Support

When a whiplash injury causes mobility issues, you will need some kind of neck support to ease the muscles and prevent pain. The use of a support such as a cervical collar can help speed up the healing process.


If your symptoms are severe and persist despite the activities above, you may need to look for proper therapy and treatment options. These may include physical therapy, electric stimulation, and massage among other options.

Average Time to Full Recovery

Most whiplash injury victims typically recover within three months on average. However, depending on the nature and severity of the injury, it can take longer for the injury to fully heal. In more severe cases, full recovery may take up to a year or more. Some victims also come to suffer from chronic symptoms, so that they never fully recover. Your physician can provide an accurate estimate regarding the expected recovery time.

Hiring a Reliable Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer

When you seek compensatory damages after suffering a whiplash injury in a Charlotte crash, an insurance company may downplay your injuries. However, as noted above, a whiplash injury can take a significant amount of time to heal and prevent you from resuming work in the meantime. This is why here at Ted Greve & Associates, we help you recover the maximum amount of compensation for your whiplash injuries. Get in touch with us today to discuss your injury claim in a one-on-one session.