A whiplash neck sprain is common after a road traffic accident. Symptoms usually ease and go without any specific treatment. It is best to keep the neck active and moving. If required, painkillers can ease pain.
A whiplash neck sprain occurs when your head is suddenly jolted backwards and forwards (or forwards then backwards) in a whip-like movement, or is suddenly forcibly rotated. This can cause some neck muscles and ligaments to stretch more than normal (sprain). The common cause is when you are in a vehicle that is hit from behind by another vehicle. Being in a vehicle hit from the side or front can also cause a whiplash sprain.
Damage to the spine or spinal cord sometimes occurs from a severe whiplash accident. This is uncommon and is not dealt with in this article. This article deals only with the common whiplash sprain to neck muscles and ligaments. It assumes that you have been assessed by a doctor and serious neck injury has been ruled out.
Steps to take care of your whiplash injury include:
Further it is recommended that you avoid activities requiring heavy lifting or twisting for 6 weeks after the injury. After 2-3 weeks you should commence gentle exercise and consult a physical therapist to advise on the form of exercise most appropriate for you. You will need stretching and strengthening exercises for the neck. Most importantly, get a diagnosis from your doctor as soon as possible. Whiplash can be very nasty indeed.
Neck and shoulder pain are common issues that respond well to SCENAR treatment. We have noticed a specific pattern of asymmetries that are associated with whiplash injury. The asymmetries appear at the base of the back of the neck in the area where a necklace typically lays. In 100% of the cases where this pattern appears, when we have asked if the client has ever experienced an injury to the neck (such as a car acccident, falling off a horse, or taking an unexpected fall), they share some event where whiplash likely occurred. More often than not, it was never specifically treated.
Most people don’t realise that a whiplash injury can affect more than just the neck and the effects can be long lasting, many incidents happening as far back as 20 years previously. Scenar Therapy, as with other back issues, is excellent at dealing with whiplash injuries. The longer the whiplash injury is left untreated the more likely other areas of the back will be effected as the body tries to compensate.