Whiplash occurs when a person’s body moves very suddenly in one direction immediately followed by the opposite direction. This injury is most common following a car accident and most often affecting the head on the body and therefore causing microtrauma in the neck and the subsequent neck pain. It can also result from physical abuse, 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 and chronic pain. Your whiplash might not be apparent immediately after the injury, signs and symptoms such as neck pain sometimes take a few days to appear. Our physiotherapists can provide medical advice on 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
Muscle spasms or cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions of a muscle or group of muscles. They can be caused by too much muscle strain and lead to arm and 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).
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 assist with 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.
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 or local pharmacy for advice on pain relief that may help you.
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