This is usually following a road traffic accident during which the neck moves forwards, and then backwards, suddenly.
This can result in damage to the neck muscles, joint and even the nerves. Most ‘whiplash injuries’ resolve in time and the best advice is to keep the neck moving and return to normal functioning as soon as possible.
Involves neck, upper spine and shoulder exercises to maintain and increase range of movement. If stiffness persists, mobilisation of the spine will help to reduce symptoms. The pain can be very frightening but graded movement and return to normal activities as soon as possible is the key to recovery. Our movements are changed with the pain and it only takes a short period of time before we learn these new movements.
Additionally, whiplash can be a traumatic experience in many ways. The accident and impact are obvious but if you are then strapped to a spinal board and transferred to hospital by ambulance after being told you might have ‘fractured you spine’, the experience is even more traumatic. Then the person that you hit you didn’t apologise and just laughed, it in not surprising you feel frustrated and stressed. This all contributes to the pain experience. We are here to get you out of this vicious circle.