How Physio Can Help With Whiplash

whiplash physio technique

A common injury that we often see here at Clear Physio is whiplash, where the neck is injured when the head is thrown forwards and backwards with force. 

It can be incredibly painful and frustrating to live with but the good news is that the symptoms can be treated very successfully with specific proprioceptive exercises, soft tissue manipulation, mobilisation techniques and postural realignment.

Generally, whiplash injuries occur as a result of a traffic collision or perhaps contact sports, with the structures in the neck damaged when the head is violently thrown forwards or back. It’s likely that you won’t experience any symptoms immediately after the injury if you do have whiplash, as symptoms typically increase in intensity two to three days afterwards.

Pain usually manifests in the neck and occasionally in the head, shoulders and arms, characterised by a sharp pain that gets worse when you move, or a constant dull ache. Other signs to look out for include stiffness, tingling and locking or clicking joints.

If you suspect you might have whiplash, it’s important to see a physiotherapist as it’s unlikely that your symptoms will resolve themselves on their own. As long as your injury is properly diagnosed and treated in the most effective way, you should not suffer any long-term effects. 

However, if your case is particularly severe, degeneration of the discs in the neck can occur, which may lead to chronic pain and restrictions over the longer term.

When you come to see us, we’ll first diagnose you fully so we can devise a tailored treatment programme to suit. Treatments are usually quite passive, mainly consisting of manual therapies to ease symptoms and provide pain relief, but certain exercises may also be necessary to encourage full range of movement.

Our advice is to try to carry on with your daily activities as you would normally and avoid using neck collars or braces, as these will restrict your movement and increase recovery times. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us today.

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