Can You Work After Suffering from Whiplash?

Anyone who has ever been in a car accident is most likely familiar with whiplash. The pain in your neck, back, and shoulders can be exceedingly uncomfortable and can make everyday activities more difficult. If you’re experiencing this pain, you probably have a lot of questions on your mind, such as:

  • How long does the trauma last?
  • When can you work after suffering this injury?
  • What can be done to help your recovery?

In most cases, you can return to work immediately. It will depend on several factors, including how severe your injury is and what type of work you do. Let’s go over some of the finer points of those questions.

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woman with neck pain after car accident

How Long Does Pain from Whiplash Last?

Whiplash is caused by the sudden, unnatural back and forth motion of your neck that occurs during an accident. That can cause the ligaments, soft tissues, and discs in your neck and back to become strained and injured. As with any sprain, it takes a while for your body to heal and make a full recovery. The aches and pains you feel is your body’s response and coping mechanism for the stress and trauma of the injury.

A significant factor in your recovery relies on your attitude. Most victims of whiplash can continue to go about their normal activities as long as they’re mindful and don’t overextend themselves. The aches and pains may continue for weeks or months following your accident, but you can still go about most of your normal activities during that time.

When Can You Work with a Whiplash Injury?

Because the minor aches and pains from a whiplash injury can last for weeks or months, it’s best to take things easy for a little while after an accident. Getting your injuries documented is a critical step too. Research supports the notion that getting back into the habit of everyday life can be therapeutic and helpful during your recovery, but it’s important to heed the advice of your doctor.

It’s okay to deal with minor aches and pains while resuming work activities, and it can help those who are in pain to keep a more positive frame of mind. If your injury is severe, your doctor might recommend taking a few weeks off. Generally, most go back to their daily activities within a month – even if they’re still healing.

It’s wise to note that even when a doctor advises you to take it easy, that doesn’t mean lying about and doing nothing. Staying still can weaken the tissues in your neck and back, causing your injury to last even longer. It does mean, however, that you should avoid any sudden movements that could be stressful to your neck and back. While going about your daily activities, take breaks every hour or so to rest and ask your doctor about neck exercises.

business woman with back pain and neck pain in office
female doctor

What Can Be Done to Promote Healing of a Whiplash Injury

The right attitude is a significant factor contributing to your recovery from a whiplash injury. A positive frame of mind combined with therapeutic exercise specific to a neck injury is usually an excellent long-term strategy to improve healing. In conjunction with the right attitude, the following treatments are also helpful in recovering from uncomplicated whiplash injuries:

  • Drugs for pain management for a short time, usually during the first few days following the injury
  • In the beginning, neck mobilization and other manual treatments can be helpful, but should not be continued for long periods
  • Stay active and avoid prolonged periods of rest that might cause tissues to weaken around the neck and back
  • Keep up with neck exercises throughout the day while staying generally active
  • Make time for personal activities that relieve stress

Going about your daily activities while incorporating these therapies enables most individuals with whiplash injuries to make a full recovery in no time. These options are always advisable and preferable to lying still and avoiding normal activities.

Experienced Car Accident Injury Attorneys

Anyone who goes through the frightening experience of a car accident will have questions about when they can get back to their normal activities, like returning to work. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident that led to a whiplash injury, get the help you need.

The attorneys at The Barnes Firm have decades of combined personal injury law practice. Their best car accident attorneys will fight for you and the compensation that you deserve. For a free case evaluation, schedule an appointment online or call today.