Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I had a whiplash injury two months ago. Since I didn't get better with activity and exercise, the doctor sent me to a physical therapist. I still have a lot of pain and stiffness with movement. It seems like the therapist is asking me to do things beyond my abilities. How far should I push through the symptoms of this injury?

The healing time for most soft tissue injuries is about six weeks. Unless you have reinjured yourself during this time, you should be nearly past the time of healing and tissue remodeling. At this point, treatment can help prevent your injury from becoming a chronic problem.

There are guidelines for the treatment of whiplash injury. According to these guidelines, there are five different phases of recovery, starting with the first four days and going past three months. You are in Phase 4 (six weeks to three months). During this phase, treatment is focused on increasing activities. In the case of delayed recovery, learning to cope with the symptoms is important.

At this point in recovery, it's helpful for patients to take a more active role in treatment. Patients should increase their activities in small bits as pain allows.


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