Whiplash/Neck strain resulting from automobile accidents
Whiplash is a "catch all" term for injuries to the neck that are sustained in car accidents. However, it is common to have injuries to the neck, head, upper back and lower back in car accidents. Fortunately, most people do not have problems in all of these areas.
Some people may experience pain right away after a car accident, but others develop stiffness and soreness over the next few days. Headaches and decreased movement are common during this early (acute) phase of healing.
The types of injuries sustained are varied; two people with similar car accidents can have very different problems as a result, even if they both primarily complain of neck pain. In very severe accidents there can be damage to the bones and spinal cord, but in most accidents the injuries are primarily in the "soft tissue" which means the muscles, ligaments, and structures that surround the joints.
Our therapists will take a careful history and will perform a thorough examination before they begin treatment to make sure that it is safe to treat you with physiotherapy, and to determine what type of injury you have sustained.
Early physiotherapy treatment has been shown to be helpful post car accident. As the tissues are healing, it is best to gradually add challenges so that the tissue heals in an optimal way. It is also important to restore normal muscle control as the timing and strength of the muscle can be impacted by the acute pain episode.
Though the research is varied, it is known that a substantial subset of people with acute whiplash will still have some symptoms months after the original accident. Our therapists are able to assess your chronic whiplash problems and will work with you to determine the best treatment program to help you live a better life despite your ongoing symptoms if you have a chronic problem. We also have some treatment modalities (like dry needling techniques) which can be more helpful with chronic pain.