The prognosis (outlook) for recovery from whiplash depends on the severity of the injury.
Minor whiplash injuries usually resolve within 1-2 weeks.
Moderate whiplash injuries with muscle spasm or ligament strains may take up to 4-8 weeks to resolve.
Severe whiplash injuries, or those that involve nerve damage or ligament or disc injury to the spine, may result in chronic or permanent disability. These injuries may require future surgical intervention.
Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
KnowYourBack.org. Whiplash and Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAS).
Hoffman JR, Wolfson AB, Todd K, Mower WR. Selective cervical spine radiography in blunt trauma: methodology of the National Emergency X-Radiography Utilization Study (NEXUS). Ann Emerg Med. 1998 Oct;32(4):461-9. PubMed PMID: 9774931.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/1/2014
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