Commonly and unfortunately in the clinic we see a lot of clients presenting with persistent pain especially in the neck and back, or dizziness following a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVAs).
Not to be taken lightly, MVAs can have profound impact on your quality of life – affecting your mental and social wellbeing as well as limiting your capacity to perform at your daily best as a result of pain or stiffness. Both high and low speed impacts can transfer a large jarring force through the body causing whiplash injuries, soft tissue injuries and a lot of protective muscle spasm.
Sometimes pain arises immediately whereas other times it may be more delayed and not appear for a few days.
Fortunately, a lot can be done to help and our Physiotherapist’s at Aspire are ready to walk with you along your path back to wellness and optimum health.
Whiplash injuries are a result of the neck being forcibly bent in one direction then another – usually backwards then forwards. This depends on the place of impact, and is most commonly seen after rear-ended collision.
Symptoms of whiplash vary from person to person, however clients most commonly report
- Neck pain & stiffness
- Pain further down back
- Shoulder pain
- Pins and needles or numbness
- Ringing in ears
- Difficulty with concentration
- Double/ blurred vision
The duration of symptoms can vary, but a positive mindset, correct treatment and exercise can help you regain full function and get you feeling much better. Early movement and gentle exercise can be very beneficial in speeding your recovery.
How to manage whiplash
- Ice can be very helpful in alleviating pain in the initial 24-48 hours. If pain is more chronic and long lasting you may find a heat pack is useful to help relax the surrounding muscles helping to relieve stiffness and with the exercises below
- Begin with gentle range of movement exercises with your neck as soon as possible. This will help prevent stiffness
- Some useful exercises
- Gentle nod
- Make a double chin
- Rotate your neck side to side and hold in each position for a few seconds
- Bend your neck as to bring you ear to shoulder
- Carefully and slowly try to complete general daily activities – avoid a lot of lifting and repetitive work. Start light. This will help to prevent your muscles tightening and weakening allowing you to recover faster.
- Seek physiotherapy for a guided and individualised and progressive exercise program, soft-tissue release/ massage, gentle mobilisation of your neck and postural correction
Neck pain should never take over your life.
Taking and active and positive approach to your recovery will lead you down the right path for the best recovery.
If you feel you need some further guidance, reassurance and treatment, book an appointment today and let our team at Aspire help you return to being the “best human you can be,” living a pain free “life you love.”
Article written by physiotherapist Megan McDermott, who’s experienced in treating whiplash injuries including pain, dizziness, pins and needles and headaches, and can get you back on track, fast.
Also check out these other posts: