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).
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.
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.
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.