WHIPLASH



whiplash injury requiring physiotherapy

What is it?

An injury typically associated with motor vehicle accidents or a severe force to the neck and upper back. (E.g. sporting collision).

Causes:

Rapid change of forces to the head and neck causes over-stretch, compression or traction injuries to muscles, ligaments and nervous tissue.

Signs & Symptoms:

Often minimal pain is felt initially, but may develop over several days to weeks thereafter, often associated with headaches.

Treatment:

Initial use of ice and/or heat and anti-inflammatory medication is useful. Staying active is encouraged. Physiotherapy treatment includes active stretching exercises, local massage therapy, postural correction, ergonomic education, de-sensitising and neck strengthening.

Prognosis:

With early education and appropriate care symptoms can progressively settle. Dependent on the severity of injury, a whiplash associated disorder may take 12 weeks to two years to fully resolve.