Whiplash is a condition commonly seen in the Physio Performance clinic. This can be the aftermath of road traffic collisions and workplace injuries. Whiplash injuries occur due to extremely rapid flexion and extension of the neck as a result of a collison/contact with an external force.
This rapid flexion and extension movements take place at very high speed, especially during road traffic collisions, usually in less than half a second. Whiplash injuries involve an unpredictable combination of nervous system, muscles joints and connective tissue disruption.
Whiplash injuries can manifest in a wide variety of ways, including neck pain, headaches, fatigue, upper back and shoulder pain, cognitive changes and low back pain. Due to the fact that numerous factors play into the overall whiplash trauma, such as direction of impact, sex, age and physical condition, it is impossible to predict the pattern of symptoms that each individual will suffer.
Additionally, whiplash symptoms commonly have a delayed onset, often taking days, weeks or months to present. There are, however, a number of conditions that are very common among those who have suffered from whiplash trauma. Neck pain It is the single most common complaint in whiplash trauma, being reported by over 90% of patients.
Often this pain radiates across the shoulders, up into the head, and down between the shoulder blades. Whiplash injuries tend to affect all of the tissues in the neck, including the facet joints and discs between the vertebrae, as well as all of the muscles, ligaments and nerves.
When the symptoms of whiplash do appear, mobility will become severely decreased in most cases, as well as a significant increase in pain levels around the neck and upper back. In the early stages of whiplash management, no matter the severity, relaxation and pain relief are crucial. While some damage has occurred and pain is a natural consequence, irritability levels and guarding are two factors that can be addressed early on.
Through simple movements and relaxation techniques, mobility and pain levels can be improved early on. Simple relaxation strategies such as heat therapy, light massage, meditation, dry needling and breathing techniques can be applied in the early stages to help counteract the guarding, fear and protection that can hinder movement and increase pain levels.
In combination with relaxation techniques, some gentle, comfortable movement in the early stages will aid in increasing mobility, reducing pain, and allowing the patient to go about their usual daily activities in a pain free manner.
Unfortunately, as is the case with most injuries, we chose to protect and guard the injury early on, and while this is a completely natural response, unfortunately by not moving, you are likely going to worsen the stiffness and pain in the region. This in turn makes the rehab process more challenging, as the initial loss of range of motion takes a longer time to subside.
The Physio Performance Way:
We are the specialists here in the Drogheda area dealing with Whiplash.
We can guide you right through the whole journey: From the initial diagnosis to a full recovery.
A rehabilitation program will be customised for you to help you regain your range of motion and help you build a more confident and stronger neck.
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You can contact us on 041-9877059 or at email@example.com. You can also book an appointment online with us HERE.