Whiplash - 23rd Jun 2015

Whiplash Whiplash is a very common injury, but due to its nature it is often wrongly diagnosed or mistreated. Whiplash is usually the result of a sudden acceleration or deceleration force being applied to the cervical spine. The most common example of this is a car accident. The bones of the neck are forced into a position of extreme extension or flexion resulting in damage to the soft tissues that hold the cervical spine together including ligaments, joint capsules and muscles.

Common symptoms of whiplash may include neck pain and stiffness, headache, dizziness, shoulder pain, arm pain, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears, or even jaw and back pain. Because of the complexity of whiplash injuries other symptoms can also include depression, stress, and sleep disturbance.

Examination from the physiotherapist will be able to determine whether whiplash is a cause of neck pain. Most patients require treatment to restore normal range of movement and strength to the neck. This treatment may include:

  • gentle mobilisation
  • postural exercises
  • stretching
  • massage
  • dry needling
  • electrotherapy
  • advice
In the early stages of whiplash that may also be necessary to reduce pain with medication.
In some cases whiplash may require further investigation if appropriate physiotherapy management fails to resolve symptoms. Investigations may include an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Your physiotherapist is able to refer you to the appropriate medical professional to obtain these investigations.

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    Roslyn Physio 287 Highgate Roslyn, Dunedin 9010
  • P: 03 477 1744
  • F: 03 471 8598
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