Physiotherapy for Whiplash
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the neck caused by a sudden jolt moving the head away from the body, whether forwards, backwards or sideways. This is generally caused by motor vehicle accidents but can also happen by a sudden blow to the head during contact sports, being hit on the head by a heavy object or a slip or fall that causes the head to be jolted backwards.
The result of this kind of sudden movement is the ligaments and tendons in the neck are damaged. Ligaments are the fibrous connective tissues that link two bones together at a joint. Tendons are tough, fibrous bands that connect muscles to bone.)
Basically the muscles and tendons in the neck are overstretched because of movement beyond its normal range.
The symptoms of whiplash often take a while to develop after an accident. Any inflammation (swelling) and bruising in the neck muscles won't usually be obvious at the time of the accident.
It may take six to 12 hours for the symptoms of whiplash to become apparent. The pain and stiffness is often worse on the day after the injury. The pain may continue to get worse during the days after the injury.
In a whiplash injury, the ligaments in the neck are sprained. A sprain occurs when a ligament is overstretched. Although the ligament is not broken, a strain can often take a long time to heal (sometimes several months)
Physiotherapy is beneficial for everyone who has suffered whiplash. If you have been involved in an accident which has caused you whiplash, please contact our specialist physiotherapists at W1 Physio now.
Symptoms of whiplash
The common symptoms of whiplash include:
Other symptoms of whiplash can include:
- neck pain and stiffness,
- neck swelling,
- tenderness along the back of the neck,
- a reduction in or loss of movement in the neck, and
The symptoms of whiplash injury, such as the dizziness, headaches, blurred vision and problems with swallowing should only last for a short while. Sometimes, whiplash can cause memory loss, poor concentration and irritability.
- lower back pain,
- pain, numbness or pins and needles in the arms and hands,
- muscle spasms,
- difficulty swallowing,
- blurred vision,
- vertigo (the sensation that your are moving or spinning), and
- tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Physiotherapy can help reduce the symptoms of whiplash. The sooner you start physiotherapy, the quicker your recovery will be. To get started with your recovery, arrange an appointment with W1 Physio now.
At our physiotherapy clinics we can treat your symptoms with manipulation, massage and give you advice on neck exercises to relieve the pain and stiffness.
Whiplash is treated by dealing with the pain and stiffness in the neck and by healing the damage to the affected area.
After a few days, the symptoms of whiplash should begin to improve. In about 60% of cases, the symptoms improve significantly or completely disappear within one to four weeks.
It can sometimes take a few months for the symptoms of whiplash to disappear completely and some people still have some neck pain and stiffness for a long time after the injury.
There are a number of treatments that can ease the symptoms of whiplash. These are described below.
Ice pack, exercise, good posture, some other physiotherapy modalities e.g. Ultrasonic and TENS( Transcutaneas Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
To arrange an appointment, please contact us now.
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