Whiplash occurs when a person’s body moves very suddenly in one direction immediately followed by the opposite direction. This musculoskeletal injury is most common following a collision involving a car accident, typically a rear-end shunt and most often affecting the head on the body and therefore what causes microtrauma in the neck and the subsequent neck pain. It can also result as a common cause from physical abuse, contact sports injuries, or amusement park rides. Neck injuries caused by this trauma are often referred to as whiplash, which is the mechanism of injury where the soft tissues are extended past the normal range of movement and how the injury occurred (specifically tendons, muscles and ligaments). This can result in areas of microtrauma and symptoms in the soft tissues with muscle spasms, muscle tension and chronic pain. Your whiplash might not be apparent immediately after the injury, signs and symptom such as neck pain sometimes take 24 hours or a few days to appear. Our physiotherapists can provide medical advice on pain management, how we deal with the treatment of whiplash, the health issues caused by these injuries to the neck and how we medically can assist the patient recover with physiotherapy. Tests have been performed by the NHS in Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of nerve inflammation investigating the treatment of patients suffering from chronic whiplash-associated disorder.
There are some extremely common whiplash symptoms which can occur, your Physical therapist will be able to relieve pain symptoms working on poor posture:
In anatomy terms, whiplash is hyperextension followed by hyperflexion of the cervical vertebrae spraining the nuchal ligament and the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament respectively. it can also damage the cervical spine (the neck region of the spine), causing a herniated disc in the neck. In response to the traumatic shock of the accident or incident, your body will naturally have produced adrenaline and other hormones to protect the area and delay the onset of pain. Radiating tingling, weakness, or numbness can be caused by one of the neck's spinal cord spinal nerve roots to become compressed or inflamed. As the adrenaline and hormones wear off as the body relaxes, it can be noticed that you begin to feel symptoms and pain, typically in the neck and or shoulder area.
You may also experience headaches or a feeling of pain and numbness that travels down your arms.
Muscle spasm or cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions of a muscle or group of muscles. They can be caused by too much twisting, muscle strain and lead to arm and neck pain. Chronic neck pain. MRI has been used to identify nerve inflammation as being a possible source of symptoms in patients suffering from chronic whiplash-associated disorder (WAD).
There are several physical therapy treatments that your physiotherapist has at their disposal to treat whiplash to relieve pain and it will be their help our patients to make a full recovery, these treatments and exercises will promote good posture and involve specific stretches. Whiplash could also be described as a soft tissue injury to the neck, caused when the tendons and ligaments are extended beyond their normal range of movement, resulting in a neck sprain, or neck strain. At your first appointment, our physiotherapist will examine the affected area, asking questions so that they can understand exactly what has happened to the neck. Your Abbey physio will then put together a personalised physiotherapy treatment plan following an initial consultation.
These treatments will consist of manual therapies which we have found proven in the treatment of whiplash symptoms and provide effective pain relief.
As part of your personalised recovery plan, our physiotherapist will demonstrate a selection of exercises which will optimise your recovery from whiplash to assist you to return to a full range of movement. These exercises are key to recovery keeping your neck mobile and continuing with your daily activities is recommended. Neck collars or braces are not recommended as they do not allow you to move your neck gaining back an adequate range of movement prolonging what some people describe as acute pain. It is important getting adequate pain relief with simple pain killers is very important in the early stages as this will allow you to move around more freely. Gentle stretching and manual therapy techniques are most commonly used to restore intervertebral muscles.
It may be helpful to take Paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen, you maybe find it helpful to apply a cool pack to your neck to relieve pain and reduce swelling especially in the first 2-3 days. After this heat may also be helpful but not in the first 48 hours. It is import to gently keep moving despite the pain. It is a very important part of your whiplash treatment that you are able to control the pain caused by the injury and to get you back to your normal activities as soon as possible. Key to this recovery will be the ability to return the normal range of motion in your neck. Physical Therapy can help you feel better and may prevent further injury.
Every individual, accident and whiplash injury is different, so the prognosis, rehabilitation and pain treatment plan that your physio prescribes may vary depending on your own personal circumstances. Neck exercises may include bending, stretching, working towards Good Posture and back pain treatment using specific treatment options
The evidence says that most symptoms of whiplash have gone by 6-12 months after injury but Physiotherapy early on can speed up the recovery time and ensure the recovery is complete and has a low risk of re-occurring symptoms in the future
Abbey Physiotherapy can help reduce the initial pain and restore confidence and ability to move. Reassurance about the level of injury and recovery potential can also be very therapeutic. At Abbey Physiotherapy we receive referrals from insurance companies for RTA related whiplash injuries and also accept self-referred patients. Contact the clinic below to arrange for your first session.
Visit your GP may diagnose and prescribe or local pharmacy for over the counter advice on pain relief and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that may help you.
Low back pain is occasionally seen after whiplash and may be caused by injury to the discs, facet joints of the low back or sacroiliac joints. Whiplash of the lower back is caused by a sharp, sudden movement of the trunk either forwards, backwards or to the side. The injury is similar to the whiplash of the neck but involves the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the lower back. It also could signal a sprain, herniated discs, or other soft-tissue injuries (such as muscle damage). If accompanied by tingling or numbness, it could also point to pinched nerves causing discomfort in the lumbar spine area causing lower back pain.
Sports massage is a firm deep tissue massage therapy which is the most effective therapy for treating muscular pain, tension and for putting your body in balanceSports Massage
Joint mobilisation techniques focus on attaining a normal range of pain-free joint motion.Mobilisations
TENS is an abbreviation of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A Tens machine may assist in modest short-term pain relief. Ultrasound aids tissue healing for soft tissue injuriesElectrotherapy
the use of taping and strapping techniques to aid both the treatment and prevention of injurySports taping
Rehabilitation is the process to regain full function following injury. This involves restoring strength, flexibility, endurance and power and is achieved through various exercises and drillsExercise Rehabilitation
An exercise programme that aims to improve stabilisation and support to the spine. This is achieved by re-training specific trunk muscles, which may be under usedCore Strength
Treatment for a sports injury will depend on factors such as how severe the injury is and the part of your body affected.Sports Injuries
Upper back and neck pain can stop you in your tracks, making it difficult to go about your typical day.Back Pain
The most common soft tissues injured are muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries often occur during sports and exercise activities, but sometimes simple everyday activities can cause an injury.Strains and Sprains
A fracture is when a bone has been broken. A dislocation is where a bone has been displaced from its normal position at a joint.Fractures
Whiplash is a term that describes a neck injury caused by a sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards or sidewaysWhiplash Symptoms
A Headache is a pain in any region of the head. Headaches can occur on one or both sides of the head, or be isolated to a certain location. A headache may be a sharp pain, throbbing sensation or dull acheHeadaches
is a pain affecting the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, often owing to degeneration of an inter-vertebral disc.Sciatica
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with ageArthritis
a condition in which the prolonged performance of repetitive actions, typically with the hands, causes pain or impairment of function in the tendons and muscles involvedRSI