How serious can whiplash end up being?

If you have whiplash from a recent car accident (or think you may have it), the odds are in your favor. That is, about 75 percent of whiplash cases, maybe even more, result in full recovery within about three months.

The bad news is that you could be included among the millions of other people whose whiplash injuries result in chronic pain. For these people, whiplash is very serious even if it does not seem that way at first.

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is pain that does not go away. It remains consistent for weeks, months, even years, after the triggering event, such as a car crash. Clinically speaking, doctors tend to diagnose an individual as suffering from chronic pain if the pain has persisted from three to six months. Like with many conditions, the pain can be severe and or it can be mild. Even if it is mild, however, it can negatively affect you physically, emotionally and mentally. It might stop you from socializing as much as you did and put a damper on your overall quality of life.

Seeking treatment immediately

Many people shrug off going to the doctor for mild neck-related pain. In fact, depending on how bad the car accident looks, they may feel grateful to walk away with neck pain instead of something such as a traumatic brain injury. However, it is important to go to the doctor as soon as possible when you experience pain after a car accident. For one thing, this keeps your options more open down the road should you decide to pursue compensation through court. Seeing a doctor establishes an early medical record and gives insight into the extent and genuineness of your injuries.

The bottom line is that your health is too important to leave anything to chance. There have been many people who believed that their whiplash injuries would resolve, only to still be grappling with the negative effects of their injuries months or years later. 

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