Whiplash and early treatment
Early intervention following whiplash injury is essential. Following a whiplash injury, the patient may be fearful of movement due to pain. Muscle spasm will commonly develop and as a consequence, joint stiffness can then occur.
Evidence has shown the importance of education and early mobilisation of the neck or spine. This can be through exercise and/ or manual treatment. Without early intervention, the condition can become chronic in nature. Ongoing symptoms from whiplash can have a marked impact on work, quality of life and also result in mood changes such as fear avoidance and depression.
The type of whiplash injury can vary depending on the speed and angle of impact. When a car is hit from behind, the neck is forced, at speed, into hyper-extension and hyper-flexion. Car improvements with neck restraints and air bags have reduced the severity of injury. However, for many, this can be a very scary and painful condition.
When the neck is forced into these movements, this puts noticeable strain on muscles and ligaments that support the spine. Inflammation of the affected structures, leads to pain and muscle spasm.
Early treatment aims to assist with reducing the inflammation and muscle spasm. Gentle mobilisation techniques to stiffened joints will enable a return to normal movements. The physiotherapist may use some of the following to aid recovery:
- Postural advice and exercise
- Mobilisation techniques
Sometimes treatment can be delayed whilst waiting for insurance company approval. Obviously, the longer the problems go on, the harder it is to treat due to the symptoms becoming quite established and possibly chronic in nature.
“In January, I was involved in a car accident, in which a transit van hit my car from behind. As my car was stationary at the time, the impact was considerable. As soon as the impact happened, I felt a jolt through my neck and shoulders.
I contacted the Iveson Clinic the same day, as I was feeling pain in my neck and down the back of my left shoulder. Fortunately Julie Iveson was able to see me very quickly. After a thorough examination, she diagnosed moderate whiplash and began treatment.
After a couple of appointments, my pain began to subside and movement increased in my neck and shoulder. After each session, the injury felt increasingly better. I had 6 sessions in all and I now have full movement restored and the pain is virtually gone. I know having treatment promptly after the accident really helped my whiplash injury heal up quickly.”
We are delighted we were able to help.
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and are experiencing neck or back problems, try and pursue treatment early on. Treatment may be offered through your insurance company or via your GP to your local hospital. Alternatively seek early treatment privately. The Iveson Clinic accepts self referrals and is registered with most health insurance companies.