The onset of pain

  • Many clinical, automotive, and epidemiologic studies report frequent delays in patients having symptoms following an automobile collision event.
  • Although there are many factors as to why symptom onset delay occurs, one major factor is believed to be related to the spreading of posttraumatic edema (1).
  • Cailliet concluded that it is not unusual for upper extremity pain or paresthesias to become symptomatic or problematic 2 to 4 months after a motor vehicle collision (2).

How long does whiplash last?

  • Hemorrhagic phase up to one week (3)
  • Inflammatory phase up to two weeks (3)
  • Proliferative phase up to seven weeks (3)
  • Remodeling phase up to 12 months (3).
  • Carlstedt’s review of the literature concludes that the remodeling stage peeks at 3 to 4 weeks and continues up to about one year (4).
  • The Québec task force concluded that this (remodeling) process takes about one year based from their analysis of medical literature (5).

When do injury symptoms reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)?

  • Patients will experience most of the symptom improvement within 3 to 6 months after injury and then will taper off with a slower, gradual lessening of symptoms until their conditions stabilize at about six months to a year. 
  • Bannister and Gargan concluded from their review of the literature “that the vast majority of patients reach their final state within a year.” (6).

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The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease. ” - Thomas Edison