Whiplash is a common injury that normally follows from a road traffic accident and normally affects the neck and shoulders.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is the term used to describe a group of neck pain problems, often resulting from a rear-end vehicle collision. Long-lasting damage is not common and the outlook following whiplash is good as the injuries are not normally serious and dont involve damage to spinal discs, bones or nerves in the neck.
What causes whiplash?
Whiplash is usually caused by a rapid, violent backward jerk of the neck or head as the result of a rear end vehicle collision that includes rapid acceleration and deceleration of the neck.
Whiplash can also be caused by several other things that cause rapid acceleration and deceleration of the neck including:
- A sudden injury to the head such as boxing or rugby
- A slip or fall where the head violently jolts backwards
- Being struck by a solid or heavy object on the head
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
Symptoms of whiplash are often pain in the back of the neck which is worsened with movement. Pain may radiate up to the head, into the shoulders, arms or between shoulder blades.
Other less common symptoms include:
- Eyesight disturbances
- Balance problems
- Weak or heavy feeling arms
- Pins and needles on the palm of your hands
- Problems swallowing or hearing
- Hearing disturbances
Some bruising may appear around the seatbelt area. If your neck is turned during the accident then other neck structures may be injured such as your nerves.
How is whiplash diagnosed?
Diagnosis of whiplash can be confirmed by a physiotherapist from your symptom description and by assessing your movement and what different things cause you pain. Scans and tests are not often needed unless a fracture is indicated.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for whiplash?
Our specialist physiotherapists at Farrell Physiotherapy often treat whiplash patients and can use a variety of techniques to help reduce your pain and allow you to return to your normal levels of activity. In order to speed up recovery, early treatment is recommended.
Your physiotherapist at X CLINIC will first assess your physical symptoms and will provide a tailored treatment plan based on their findings.
Physiotherapy treatment often includes:
- Ice to decrease inflammation
- Passive and active range of movement exercises to promote healing, and alleviate pain and stiffness
- Progressive stretching, strengthening and conditioning exercises
- Soft tissue massage promoting recovery
- Joint mobilisation
- Advice on painkillers and anti-inflammatories
- Postural alignment training
- Reports for insurance companies if necessary
Benefit of physiotherapy for whiplash?
The main benefits of physiotherapy for whiplash include decreased pain and a quick recovery. Physiotherapy can also help to improve range of movement and strength and also correct poor posture.