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Tackling whiplash

We’re all increasingly aware that the roads and motorways in and around Bristol and the surrounding areas are getting busier. As some of the most congested in the country it comes as little surprise to hear that the number of road traffic accidents is still alarmingly high.

Whilst the majority of victims of an accident will escape serious injury many will suffer whiplash, a sprain of the soft tissues, ligaments and muscles in the neck. Often a deceptively painful and debilitating condition whiplash can last anything from a few weeks to several months, and in some cases years.

The 2007 Rehabilitation Code places a duty on the parties involved in the claims process to consider rehabilitation at an early stage, so the injured person makes the best and quickest recovery.

Physiotherapy is probably the most common referral for rehabilitation in road traffic accident cases. The therapists at Bradley Stoke Physiotherapy took part in a recent national data collection project which looked at the success of physiotherapy treatment for whiplash sufferers. The results showed that whiplash is more prevalent than people think, the most affected group being woman in their late 30’s. The vast majority of suffers were deemed “physically active”, with more rated “very active” than the national average. This was reflected in the fact that few took time off work during the course of their treatment, with most being in full time work and keen to keep it that way. Some patients had only one treatment session with two thirds having six or less. In 77% of cases, therapists recorded goals had been exceeded, fully achieved or significantly achieved. A clear result!

Alongside treatment such as this goes the inevitable disruption to daily life – particularly the impact that an injury can have on employment and income. In the vast majority of personal injury claims brought, claimants are less interested in the compensation than they are in wanting to get ‘back to normal’ as quickly as possible. Whether they are forced to take time off work, or change their working practice, expert support and advice, across the board can be a deciding factor in the effectiveness of recovery. With so many claims companies offering seemingly ‘too good to be true’ solutions to bringing a personal injury claim, it can be easy to forget that professional expertise is important both in a physiotherapist and a solicitor. Just as you seek qualifications and a proven track record from your treatment, so it is important when embarking on litigation. Without the right experts managing your recovery plan, the process can be longer, less effective and a lot more painful.

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