Expert Whiplash Treatment
Expert Whiplash Treatment
Whiplash is a term that describes a range of head and neck injuries resulting from hyperextension and hyperflexion of the spine. Most commonly, this means when your body is moving forward and suddenly stops, your head jerks forward and backwards in a very fast motion. This condition is most often associated with car accidents such as rear end collisions, but any forceful blow to the head or body is capable of causing whiplash.
When this motion occurs, the bones in the neck become an abnormal S-shape rather than a natural curved C-shape. This causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the neck, face, and head that can get progressively worse and last for weeks before dissipating. There may also be cognitive effects, such as dizziness, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating. In some cases, the effects of whiplash are felt longer or more severely and more aggressive treatments are required.
Why does Whiplash happen?
- Car accidents
- A heavy object hitting you on the head
- A fall where the head is jolted
- A blow to the head, such as during contact sport
What Are The Symptoms Of Whiplash?
Whiplash symptoms usually begin within 6 to 12 hours after the injury but in severe cases it can be immediate. Often there is discomfort on the day of the injury leading to later onset of pain, swelling or bruising that can increase over subsequent days. Common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Shoulder pain
- Arm pain
- Upper back pain
- Visual or hearing problems
- Difficulties speaking or swallowing
Symptoms of a whiplash may or may not improve over time. The symptoms may go away on its own after a few days or a couple weeks with treatment. It should be treated carefully and under the supervision of a Physiotherapist. Basic at home treatment options include using an heat or ice pack immediately after the accident in 5-10 minute intervals, following it after a couple days with a heating pad or hot towel. Over the counter painkillers can also be effective for reducing stiffness and pain. In some cases, a soft foam collar may be beneficial. A physiotherapist can help determine other exercises or treatment methods that will help alleviate whiplash.
It’s important to seek further medical attention if the symptoms don’t disappear in this time period, if the pain spreads to shoulders and arms, or you experience numbness and tingling. Symptoms can dramatically improve with the right medical advice and other treatments like physiotherapy.
Physiotherapy for Whiplash
Various physiotherapy treatments can be used for whiplash to help reduce the symptoms and severity of the condition. Whiplash physiotherapy treatments can include:
- Manual therapy
- Massage therapy
- Tissue manipulation
- Taping and bracing
- Dry needling
- Exercise recommendations
- Posture correction
- Health and lifestyle advice
The earlier the Physiotherapy starts after the event, the better. Physiotherapy is imperative to prevent lasting damage and chronic pain from the condition. Without proper treatment, whiplash can deviate into other more serious conditions, such as chronic whiplash, concussion, joint disfunction, disc herniation, and permanent faulty movement patterns and posture. Physiotherapy for whiplash will help reduce the likelihood of these conditions. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in a whiplash recently or are suffering from chronic whiplash, contact us today. We can help find a whiplash treatment plan that is right for you and help you alleviate the symptoms.