Overall having the treatment quite soon gets a patient back to normal activity more quickly than without early treatment.
The patients I see now following a road traffic accident often ask me how long will the symptoms last for following their car crash, because they seem to feel that it is quite a long time.
I explain to them that in the past when the system started( 20 years or so ago) it was not unusual for me to be seeing patients 12 to 18 month after the accident and those patients were still experiencing the pain and symptoms that the current patients are experiencing now when I see them sometimes within three weeks after the accident.
Having treatment at this early stage now means really that the symptoms will clear up quite quickly and it is unnecessary to go through that period of 18 months of being in discomfort and possibly unable to do certain activities which could be detrimental to work and general wellbeing.
Getting the treatment early, even a short course of treatment, advice can be given as to how to manage the situation at home such as supporting oneself using pillows when sitting or sleeping and certain exercises to help the symptoms settle down more quickly.
The length of a course of formal treatment will depend upon severity and type of symptoms experienced and also reaction to treatment which are very individual so no one person is going to be exactly the same as another.
I have also found in the past that the symptoms do not correlate directly to the severity or perceived severity of the accident. I have seen patients in the past who have been in really horrific accidents and taken 3 or 4 treatments to get better whereas other patients who have been sitting at a traffic light and a car has rolled into the back of them have taken 10 to 12 treatments. There is no accounting for age, sex or demographics of the patient.