Two effects untreated whiplash can have in the long term

Long-Term Effects of Whiplash

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 6.8% of the fatal car accidents in 2016 were rear-end collisions. Rear-end collisions are also the most common cause of a head and neck injury called whiplash. 

Whiplash occurs when the head and neck whip violently back and forth. The forces transmitted to the body when your car is struck from behind can easily cause such movement, and the violent movement can injure muscles and other soft tissue in the neck. If left untreated, whiplash can have several negative long-term effects. There are two in particular that physical therapists see in patients who haven’t had treatment for their whiplash.

1.   Chronic neck pain

Right after your car accident, your adrenaline will be pumping, and this can easily mask the initial symptoms of whiplash. Whiplash symptoms might not appear until days or even weeks later. However, one long-term effect whiplash can have if it’s not treated is chronic neck pain. 

Many medical professionals define pain as chronic when it has lasted for at least four months. Leaving car accident injuries like whiplash untreated can easily lead to chronic pain, and the pain can affect your neck and shoulders. Untreated whiplash could also be a source of chronic headaches and other painful issues. 

2.   Mobility issues

Your neck’s ability to bend and twist makes it one of the most mobile parts of your body. However, this mobility can be reduced by car accident-related neck injuries. In fact, mobility reductions are one of the most common long-term effects of untreated whiplash. 

Such reductions can make it harder to perform normal tasks. For instance, you might find that looking up when reaching for an object above your head is difficult or painful. There is also a greater risk of developing other long-term mobility issues like cervical arthritis or degenerative disc disease if you’ve left a whiplash injury untreated. 

Find out how Advent Physical Therapy can help treat the long-term effects of whiplash

Are you tired of dealing with chronic pain, mobility issues and other long-term effects of whiplash? Our Advent Physical Therapy team can help you treat these issues. We offer complimentary screenings that can pinpoint the source of your problems. Our team also has the experience to build you a personalized treatment plan, and we have multiple beneficial therapy methods at our disposal that can be used in your plan, including: 


Contact our team today for more information about how we can help with whiplash or to schedule your initial appointment.