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Recovery Time - whiplash

driftwoodddriftwood Posts: 81
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:45 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hey Everyone - Another post - same issues.

I am curious if anyone of you have had whiplash and how long it takes to heal?

In short - I pulled my trap and neck working out.

My symptoms:

1.) Neck and back spasms - won't go away and won't stop.
2.) Lower back pain. (burning, vice like)
3.) Neck pain. (stiffness, heavy, pain in what seems to be ligaments. And some days its on the sides, then front, then back)
4.) Mid back pain. (vice like pain.)
5.) Weakness.


I am seeing a PT after seeing various types. What I do not understand is that after 9weeks I am still hurting and getting new symptoms all over. It could be any one of the 4 symptoms on any day and they alternate. The pt says its whiplash adn fibromyalgia. SO basically it is all related to my neck. HE also mentioned that the situation is like a paper cut, where it is really easy to aggrevate again.

Has anyone had something similar like this where it just lingers and lingers. ie. I just feel like I should be further along but perhaps not. Is this normal for whiplash?

From all the research I have done it seems like anyhere from 6weeks to 6months. They are days where I just feel completely blasted. And days where I feel ok.
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Comments

  • I had whiplash 20 years ago and it lasted for me 9 months. Then I woke up one day and it was gone. I don't know if it took longer than average because I have reversed curve in my neck and minor disc problems? Anyways I took a muscle relaxant to help. That's my experience though.
    I hope yours heals soon. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • rearended by a huge pickup truck at a high rate of speed while I was stopped at a light. After 6 years I am not any better and suffer every day. I'm not a typical case though, only 10% supposedly suffer permanent injuries....lucky me. I have tried pretty much everything under the sun to get better, but have come to accept that I probably won't unless a miracle happens. The fact that you feel ok some days should give you hope of recovery. Good luck with your healing.
  • Have you had any diagnostic tests? My guess is probably no if you have conservative doctors. Also what type of doctor are you currently seeing?

    At this point I think you need a neurologist (not surgeon). They can order some tests like a MRI or CT which will rule out other damage. Unfortunately true whiplash can be just as painful as bulging disks or other spine injuries.

    And a word of caution. No PT should be telling you that you have fibromyalgia. That is just not professional. Only a neurologist can truly diagnose that and you are way to early in the process to be sent down that road.

  • I have seen a neurosurgeon, two doctors, and two PT.
    Its all muscular according to them.
  • I have whiplash symptoms after a car accident six months after my surgery. I still have muscle spasms,trouble sleeping,back pain,leg and neck pain.Its been a year and a half since my accident and am going to see a neurologist next week to rule out a spinal cord concussion.After my accident i was told by all my doctors including my surgeon that it would take a long time for the whiplash to heal because it happened so soon after my surgery.Once a year came everyone started to wonder if something else was going on because the progress seemed so slow.Thats when i contacted my surgeon who said that he thought perhaps it was also a spinal cord concussion and should see my neurologist.
    Muscle problems do take a long time to heal as well.Did they mri your spine to make sure that there was no more disc problems after the accident?
  • Howdy Dawood!

    I've had whiplash due to car accidents twice, and like the others posted, its a bugger - mine lasted about 7 months with occasional flares for a short time after that on the first one (rear ended). On my last hit and run (2002), the ER doc put me in a soft collar for 2 weeks, and then I went to my Chiro for follow-up. He had me almost pain free within about 4 adjustments - Hot/Cold packs, EMS/TENS, roller bed and manipulations. He also showed me some neck exercises (stretches really) to do on my own. I was good to go within a few months on that one.

    I hope you're feeling better soon. *HUG*

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • thanks for the responses everyone.

    When I went to the second PT and got evaluated he basically told me that I had created a "whiplash" scenario. After asking him why it is taking so long to recover was that he thinks that the first PT did not really address the issues correctly, the main issue being that I was not given a home program.

    I am thinking the whiplash came from the chiropractor adjusting my neck 4times in a week. It was pretty aggressive.I also think psychologically it really affected me as well.

    The other reason is that I am infront of a computer 8-10 hrs a day so that makes it harder.

    I took initial xrays that a neurologist looked at, all telling me it was muscular since I had not symptoms involving nerves.

    It seems to me the main issue right now to me is spasms. I get them all over.For the first time my neck was really loose yesterday then half way through I felt the spasms coming on.

  • tammyc said:
    I have whiplash symptoms after a car accident six months after my surgery. I still have muscle spasms,trouble sleeping,back pain,leg and neck pain.Its been a year and a half since my accident and am going to see a neurologist next week to rule out a spinal cord concussion.After my accident i was told by all my doctors including my surgeon that it would take a long time for the whiplash to heal because it happened so soon after my surgery.Once a year came everyone started to wonder if something else was going on because the progress seemed so slow.Thats when i contacted my surgeon who said that he thought perhaps it was also a spinal cord concussion and should see my neurologist.
    Muscle problems do take a long time to heal as well.Did they mri your spine to make sure that there was no more disc problems after the accident?
    That is so sad & scary. I am still suffering from my car accident that was roughly 2 months after my ACDF. I just had an mri with and w/o contrast and I am wating to see my NS again this month. I need to start working with a Neurologist and I am sure he will refer me to one at our next appt. I don't think he wants to be in the middle of a Insurance settlement. It looks like the fusion is fine but the accident may have caused the vertabrae below to slide out of alignment- I want to say spondylolistsis or retrololistsis. I have no idea what they can do for this but it sure hurts like heck.

    Group Hug!

    Julie
  • I was in a car accident about 15 years ago, and had a pretty bad case of whiplash. I couldn't hold my own head up for a couple weeks.

    After a couple months of PT and massage therapy, I started feeling a bit better, but it took a long time to heal. I don't know if this is typical or not.

    As for the PT telling you that you had whiplash and fibromyalgia, Kris is right, VERY unprofessional. For those types of diagnosis you need a neurologist or a rheumatologist. A good PT should never try to diagnose anything, they don't have the training.

    With you having had x-rays, I would think they would have ordered an MRI as well. That way they could look at all the muscles involved, and make a more clear diagnosis.

    If it were me, I'd go to my PCP and ask for a referral for a neurologist, and ask for an MRI as well. That may help them see the big picture.

    Good luck with your healing, and keep us posted on how you're doing!

    Kat
  • thanks for the responses everyone!

    I think he was saying that I had created a whiplash scenario. From everything I had told him with the work out, locking up when doing a pull up, then getting my neck twisted 4times by a chiro in a week.

    IT's funny cause the last pt before said it was spams as well as "other" neck issues. But never said what :(

  • I was in a MVA on 5/6/2014 rearended by large truck in my car. Luckily my wife and son were fine but I wasnt wearing my seatbelt... SO it is now 2/24/2015 and i still am suffering with neck back and arm pain numbness and tingleing. I had double vision for like 2 months and have been to countless chiropractic apts. Seen multiple eye docs and 2 series of PT. Also have been to neurologists and MRI. So far I still have dizzy spells balance problems and the pain and numbness. PT said whiplash can last anywhere between 6 months to 3 years and in some cases permanent. I have tried everything to figure it out and all the docs can say. Keep my hopes up that I will wake one day and it will be gone. I do not know what to do. Pain meds and physc meds are only slightly helpful but I think my depression is preventing my healing. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to help cope with all my symptoms. Most days I wish to not exist and cannot seem to get out of this state of mind. Any ideas please

    Sincerely, SalemGD
  • SalemGD said:
    I was in a MVA on 5/6/2014 rearended by large truck in my car. Luckily my wife and son were fine but I wasnt wearing my seatbelt... SO it is now 2/24/2015 and i still am suffering with neck back and arm pain numbness and tingleing. I had double vision for like 2 months and have been to countless chiropractic apts. Seen multiple eye docs and 2 series of PT. Also have been to neurologists and MRI. So far I still have dizzy spells balance problems and the pain and numbness. PT said whiplash can last anywhere between 6 months to 3 years and in some cases permanent. I have tried everything to figure it out and all the docs can say. Keep my hopes up that I will wake one day and it will be gone. I do not know what to do. Pain meds and physc meds are only slightly helpful but I think my depression is preventing my healing. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to help cope with all my symptoms. Most days I wish to not exist and cannot seem to get out of this state of mind. Any ideas please

    Sincerely, SalemGD
    Hi Salem,
    Really feel sorry for you. I had a similar issue with a whiplash-type injury and though it doesn't sound as severe as yours, for me it lasted from Aug 2013 to about April 2014. Believe it or not, and feel free to chuckle, I knocked myself out on a water slide on holiday. Came to in the water at the bottom of the slide. Has slight concussion and a broken tooth but it was only about 2-3 days later that the pain started. Which can be normal. At its worst, I couldn't sleep on either my left or right side.The pain and the lack of sleep was so depressing and stressful. I spent hours looking online and stressing myself out even more trying to work out what I'd done and thinking that I might be stuck with this for life. My doctor put me on strong pain killers and later, anti-depressants. One thing that did help was one of special moulded neck pillows that support the neck. They're called contour pillows I think. Helped me finally get some sleep. I went to a chiropractor - went through the neck tweaking procedure a few times which scared the hell out of me - couldn't see how it could help and thought it might do more damage, BUT....all I can say is, after another month or so, the pain went and hasn't come back. Probably, it just went by itself. or it might have been the chiropractor. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I was in the low state that you're in, I wondered if the pain would ever go, but it did. It just took time. Wish you all the best and hope you get better soon. I'm sure you will. Get one of those pillows if you haven't tried them already.

    Rob
  • FleaturtleFFleaturtle Posts: 2
    edited 08/29/2015 - 7:38 AM
    I was rear ended 3 years and still have daily pain, primarily on neck, especially if I do unusual movements or sit or stay still for too long. I have complications in that I have vestibular issues as a result (nausea and dizziness). Mri shows a disc protrusion at c5/6.Recovery is slow though I have some improvement. I've gone to physio every two weeks or more frequently. I'm hoping to wake up and have it gone - that would be like a dream. I want my life back!! Good luck to all on recovery!

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
  • SalemGD said:
    I was in a MVA on 5/6/2014 rearended by large truck in my car. Luckily my wife and son were fine but I wasnt wearing my seatbelt... SO it is now 2/24/2015 and i still am suffering with neck back and arm pain numbness and tingleing. I had double vision for like 2 months and have been to countless chiropractic apts. Seen multiple eye docs and 2 series of PT. Also have been to neurologists and MRI. So far I still have dizzy spells balance problems and the pain and numbness. PT said whiplash can last anywhere between 6 months to 3 years and in some cases permanent. I have tried everything to figure it out and all the docs can say. Keep my hopes up that I will wake one day and it will be gone. I do not know what to do. Pain meds and physc meds are only slightly helpful but I think my depression is preventing my healing. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I can do to help cope with all my symptoms. Most days I wish to not exist and cannot seem to get out of this state of mind. Any ideas please

    Sincerely, SalemGD
    The dizziness and eye issues could be vestibular issues. There are PTs specialized in vestibular issues... It's made a world of difference in my life after my accident. I used to not even be able to go to a grocery store without almost throwing up and Im now able to do more. I had same issues around tingling and whatnot in arms- pt really helped. Good luck!!
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,949
    edited 06/10/2015 - 5:12 AM
    Whiplash is a confusing and can be a complicated disorder for some, especially those that did not have early intervention to address symptoms.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • AvgYVRManAAvgYVRMan Posts: 2
    edited 08/29/2015 - 6:44 PM
    Hi everyone
    I was involved in a car accident where I got rear ended and sandwiched at a stop light. Got a herniated L5-S1 from standing on the brake pedal and whiplash. It's been 7.5 years now and I suffered through nausea on and off. I have a sensitive spot at the base of my skull that won't go away. I can't sleep on my back any more as it feels so uncomfortable when pressure is applied there. If I happen to roll on my back while asleep I'll wake up with a headache. I was laid off from my last job for a year as I believe HR didn't want to go through a fifth round of me going on short term disability. Having the year off help settle my lower back and sciatica issues as I wasn't chained to a desk anymore. Started working again and two months into the new job I'm feeling those old issues starting to come back.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    ~ spine-health moderator, savage
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