New research shows that fear may play a role in the recovery process for whiplash victims. Kinesiophobia, which is the fear of movement, has been documented in delaying the recovery time for low back pain. Now there may be a link to cervical pain, or whiplash injuries, after a car accident.
The study, published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, had the following outcomes:
On average the group that recovered after six months expressed lower levels of fear initially and at their three and six month check-up. The group with mild symptoms after six months had lower scores on their fear tests too.
Researchers speculate that the fear of movement causes decrease motion in the facet joints which enhances joint immobilization and chronic pain conditions. The sooner the auto accident victim gets mobilization into the joints, the sooner he or she will recover from the whiplash injury. Fear of movement delays this process and can cause more problems down the road. I recommend seeing a chiropractor for an evaluation immediately following any auto accident.