Auto accidents are the most common form of injury that occurs across the population. Healing takes place in distinct phases, the length of which is determined by the amount of tissue damaged. Patients are often confused about whether to use heat or ice following a traumatic collision. For the first 72 hours following the trauma, ice is indicated to reduce swelling and pain. The ice should be used for a total of 20 minutes at a time and with a thin protector on the skin to prevent skin injury. the iced area should be numb to the touch after 8 minutes. For the first 2-3 days it is best to treat the swelling with ice and medications.
It is estimated that up to 40% of those who are injured in a motor vehicle collision will suffer from ongoing chronic pain. (Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2007)
Whiplash injuries not only increase the incidence of chronic neck and shoulder pain, it also significantly increased the incidence of other systemic ill health effects. In other words, whiplash injuries cause more than neck pain and headache, it hurts the health of the entire body. (Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 2001)
That essentially 100% of those who are suffering from chronic pain caused by a whiplash injury will have an abnormal psychological profile with standard assessments, and the only way to resolve the abnormal psychological profile was to successfully treat the chronic spinal pain.
Psychotherapy was not able to improve the abnormal psychological profile, not was it able to improve the patients chronic pain complaint. (Pain, 1997)
In the longest study ever performed on whiplash injured patients (a study looking at the health status 17 years after injury), 55% of the patients still suffered from pain caused by the original trauma. (Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2002)
A single whiplash injury can increase the incidence of neck spinal arthritis by 10 years compared to people who have not been in a whiplash accident. (The Journal of Orthopedic Medicine, 1997)
Did You Know?
So What Can You Do?
For mild injuries, normal activities can be resumed within 2-5 days, the healing will continue on its own. For moderate to severe injuries, seeking professional help in terms of physical medicine will often help reduce pain and improve function more quickly. More severe injuries may also require considerable effort in terms of rehabilitation to avoid long term symptoms. If professional help is required, we can be reached at 713-340-0304 and there are usually no out of pocket costs associated with treatment.