Whiplash Treatment

Whiplash, or cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome (CAD), occurs when the neck and head are suddenly forced backward and then forward, causing extreme stresses on the cervical spine. Most cases of whiplash occur as a result of a car accident but other potential causes include high-impact activities that may involve a back and forth “jolt” motion, such as football, roller coasters, and bungee jumping. Treatment options like auto accident physical therapy are common after such injuries.

What causes whiplash pain?

The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain although this can be combined with other symptoms like stiffness, reduced range of motion, shoulder and upper back pain, dizziness, or headache. Those who have suffered whiplash may also experience feelings of weakness or numbness radiating throughout the shoulder and down the arm.

Whiplash pain occurs as a result of the spine being overloaded with forces that compress it against the head (picture a car being rear-ended). The head and the neck move rapidly forward and backward causing damage to both the bone structures and the soft tissues. Symptoms of whiplash may be present immediately or may take up to 24 hours to appear.

When should I seek out whiplash treatment?

Treatment for whiplash will depend on the severity of the trauma although it’s important to get checked out by a medical professional to ensure that you’re not at risk for a more serious injury or pain symptoms that could be long-lasting. Most people with whiplash will recover completely within a 3 month period but it will depend on a number of factors including (but not limited to) the severity of the injury, personal medical history, and the body’s position at the time of impact. Auto accident physical therapy treatment is a good option for those who have suffered whiplash injuries.

How can physical therapy help with whiplash?

Your physical therapist will work with you to create a plan of care that is unique to your body and the severity of your injury. They’ll consider a number of factors in your treatment plan such as present symptoms, daily activities, and injury history. They may include a variety of techniques into your whiplash treatment such as:

• Manual therapy techniques like soft tissue massage to relieve tension in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that may have occurred as a result of whiplash.
• Strengthening exercises to target weakened muscles in the shoulder, back, and neck to restore normal body mechanics and alleviate pain symptoms.
• Patient education to develop new movement habits to help keep your neck in a safe position during recovery and as you go about your daily activities.

Your physical therapist can provide the necessary tools to treat symptoms of whiplash, allowing you to return to your favorite activities pain-free and stronger than ever! To learn more about auto accident physical therapy, whiplash, or to eliminate any discomfort, book a physical therapy assessment today.

“I came to Therapydia after a car accident and had been seeing several other care providers. It wasn’t until I came here that I truly started to feel like I was healing and able to be normal!”

-Maude H.

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