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Common Conditions

Whiplash

28/08/2020

Whiplash, also known as neck strain, occurs when a person’s head moves backwards, and then forward rapidly with great force. As a result, the soft tissues (the muscles and ligaments) of the neck extend beyond their typical range of motion, leading to the pain. This condition is considered relatively mild, but it can cause long-term pain and discomfort.

The sudden motion causes the neck’s soft tissues to stretch and tear, resulting in Whiplash. Some causes of Whiplash may include car accidents, sports injuries from Football, Boxing and Karate, cycling accidents or falls in which the head violently jerks backwards.

Symptoms usually appear within 24 hours after the incident that caused the Whiplash. Sometimes, symptoms may also develop after a few days, and can last for several weeks. Symptoms of Whiplash may include neck pain and stiffness, headaches – specifically at the base of the skull, dizziness, blurred vision and constant weariness.

Physical therapy can help restore proper function, and movement of damaged tissues, caused by Whiplash. Treatment will include manual therapy to release the tension in the soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, and muscles). Therapeutic ultrasound therapy, heat therapy and ice therapy, will also be incorporated to get more blood flow, while reducing inflammation, and muscle spasm. Personalised exercises that may help improve range of motion and strength, as well as lifestyle recommendations, will be prescribed depending on the condition. If in doubt, seek professional advice.