If you’ve been in a car accident recently or a while earlier and have started getting pain /stiffness in the neck or back, it’s very likely you’ve suffered a whiplash injury. For a lot of people, the pain can start anywhere between 2-5 days. But for others it can take a few days to come on just because we’re so busy with everything else in life that we often forget to aknowledge the pain. Does that sound familiar? Whiplash injury can often be diagnosed immediately by the GP if you’ve been able to get to the doctors soon enough. However, if you only had minor issues that have been slowly developing and now are quite intense, the blame can still be placed on the whiplash injury you suffered in the car accident or even a fall. Let’s first talk about what exactly happens when you have a whiplash injury before I talk about what we can do for you.

woman with neck pain due to whiplsh injury

What happens when you have a Whiplash injury?

Whiplash injury happens due to the sudden back and forth movement of the neck due to the impact of the accident or fall or even trauma. The force can stretch the structures of the neck to their maximum limit causing inflammation around the joints and discs. It is the inflammation or swelling that causes pain. In some cases the nerves can get irritated or compressed leading to tingling or pins and needles in the arms. In addition to this, the muscles around the structures start spasming too causing further pain. The spasms are a way of your body to protect the area that’s injured from further injury. Although whiplash injury is most common after a car accident, it can also happen if you’ve had a fall and hit your head or have been attacked.

What are the symptoms of whiplash injury?

headache after whiplash injury

As I mentioned before, the symptoms can sometimes take days to develop and can be as follows:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Reduction in movement
  • Dizziness
  • Pain radiating to arms in some cases with tingling in hands
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the ears in some cases

If the symptoms have been present for a while, it can also lead to depression , difficulty sleeping and memory issues. Althought whiplash injury is more common in the neck, we do often see secondary back pain too.

How can our physios help with whiplash injury?

physio treatment for whiplash injury

I cannot stress the importance of seeing a Physio as soon as possible when you start getting symptoms. This is because physios are well equipped to understand the complexity of symptoms that arise after a whiplash injury.The first stage of our treatment protocol for whiplash injury is to control that pain and stiffness that you may be feeling. Our physios use specialised techniques like jont mobilizations and deep tissue release to improve joint movement. This will further help in getting the blood flow through the area and promote healing.

Once the pain is under control, the next stage is to strengthen the core muscles. Yes! There are core muscles in the neck that stabilise the joints. So we start working not just on the neck muscles but also the deep core muscles of your back through reformer pilates. This is a more holistic approach and will help you to recover quicker and prevent pain in the long term.

Whiplash injury is a complex condition that requires immediate diagnosis and treatment. The best thing you can do after you’ve suffered whiplash injury is to see a GP or Physio immediately so your recovery can be started. Because the longer you leave an injury , the longer it can take to recover from it. Call us now to get help from one of our Physios.