Whiplash injuries are a common condition usually seen but not limited to people who have been in road traffic accidents. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and healing time can vary from person to person depending on the degree of the injury.
Cause of Whiplash
Whiplash is caused by the sudden acceleration then deceleration of the neck causing the head to rock backwards and forwards stretching tendons, muscles and ligaments within the area. As a result muscles, tendons and ligament become over stretched and inflamed. It is also known that the joint capsules within facet joints can also become inflamed.
Whiplash injuries are measured by the Quebec Task force score which grades whiplash injuries based on its severity
Grade 0: No complaints about the neck. No physical signs
Grade 1: Neck complaints of pain , stiffness or tenderness. No physical signs
Grade 2: Neck complaints AND musculoskeletal signs(s). Musculoskeletal signs include decreased range of motion and point tenderness.
Grade 3: Neck complaint AND neurological signs. Neurological signs include reduced or absent deep tendon reflexes, weakness and sensory deficit.
Grade 4: Neck complaint AND fracture or dislocation
Symptoms included in all grades are deafness, dizziness, tinnitus, headaches, memory loss , dysphagia, TMJ pain
Pain- as a result of the inflammation in the neck. Tender muscles usually the upper trapezius, the scalene, the elevator scapula and paraspinal muscles of the neck.
Stiffness of muscles- resulting in reduced range of motion and difficulty turning your neck. Sytiffness tends to be more in the morning
Tension headaches- caused by tight muscles.
Nausea- this is a symptoms that usually occurs in the early states after the injury
Pins and needles- As a result of nerve becoming irritated usually by tight muscles.
Physiotherapy is necessary for restoring range of motion in the neck and reducing pain. At physiofriend we can provide you with pain management techniques, home exercise programs to strengthen and restore movement in the neck and massage to aid the healing of muscles an reduce pain
Heat-Heat can help muscle become more relaxed.
NSAIDs; Anti-inflammatories scubas ibuprofen can reduce inflammation and pain in the surrounding region.
Massage- Helps to break down collagen and aid in the restoration of the quality of muscles fibres present prior to injury.