Whiplash occurs due to the forces of a sudden impact being transmitted through the neck and spine, which then whips backwards and forwards. The most common causes of a whiplash injury are motor vehicle accidents, sporting injuries (e.g. football, boxing, martial arts and water-skiing) and falls. Initial symptoms are often neck pain, stiffness and headaches. These usually last from a few days to a few weeks and then resolve. At this point most people forget about the accident and assume that they are fully recovered.
Unfortunately, without treatment, the ligament, disc or muscle damage caused at the time of injury results in gradual arthritic degeneration of spine. Eventually this can lead to symptoms of aching or pins and needles into the shoulders, arms or hands as well as a recurrence of neck stiffness and headaches. This may be years or even decades after the original injury.
Our bodies simply aren’t designed to withstand a sudden, forceful impact and early detection and treatment can greatly improve outcomes of recovery and the overall health of the spine.
If you have ever had a car accident and experience a tight, sore neck, it is likely that you carry an old whiplash injury, which is treatable and manageable. We often hear people say ‘my neck is just like that’ when all that person needs is some treatment and simple home care.
What to do if you suspect a Whiplash Injury
Following an accident, it is important to visit your GP for an assessment. Injuries, including fractures, may be present even if you are not aware of them.
Allow a few days for the inflammation to settle and then seek treatment from a chiropractor, physiotherapist or remedial massage therapist. They will help to manage the initial protective muscle spasm and ensure correct spinal motion is restored.
Ongoing management is important to reduce the chances of permanent arthritic changes to the joints of the neck and includes:
- Gentle Chiropractic adjustment
- Remedial Massage
- Rehabilitation Exercises
- Pilates (breath and stability exercises)
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms as the result of a previous whiplash injury then book a chiropractic assessment with Dr Ben Prince and a remedial massage with Coral or Paul and start your rehabilitation journey today! You’ll be amazed what a difference it can make.
Remedial Massage Therapist