WHIPLASH – THE FACTS!
Whiplash is a common injury and accounts for more than 1500
insurance claims, made everyday in the UK. Two thirds of people will recover
fully within three months of sustaining an injury and not have an ongoing
At our Specialist clinic we work closely with clients,
helping them get back to work, back to driving
and back to playing their sports.
What is whiplash?
Whiplash is a term that is used to describe a neck injury
which is caused by a sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards and
sideways. It can occur as a result from a road traffic collision, where an
impact collision exerts force onto the body causing the head to over stretch
and tear the muscles and tendons in your neck.
It is also not just restricted to road traffic collisions!
You can also suffer a whiplash injury in contact sports such as rugby, GAA,
football or ice hockey.
What symptoms might
Pain in the neck, made worse on movement.
Decreased range of movement
Stiffness and tightness in the neck
Muscles may feel hard and knotted
Arm pain and maybe weakness
Shoulder pain and/or stiffness
What is likely to
happen if whiplash goes untreated?
Thankfully whiplash injuries tend to be non-life
threatening. However, there may be significant economic expenses that may occur
as a result of injury, if left for a long period of time, such as: –
Increased medical care costs.
Time off work.
Loss of income.
Continued pain and problems.
Inability to drive
Problems with doing usual activities, such as housework,
dressing, playing with children, or taking part in hobbies/sports.
If left untreated, prolonged periods of disability can be
So, what do you need
to do if you have a whiplash injury?
My advice to anyone with a whiplash injury, is to go and
seek medical advice ASAP and definitely arrange to see a Specialist
Physiotherapist who has experience dealing with whiplash injuries.
A Specialist physiotherapist will guide you on your road to recovery.
They will advise you on the correct exercise regime, employ the correct soft
tissue mobilisation techniques and possibly use joint mobilisations to help
improve range of movement.
Early assessment of a whiplash injury will prevent the
problem becoming a chronic condition.
You can use ice in the first 48 hours post injury to help ease
pain and swelling.
Heat packs can be used from around 72 hours post injury to
help ease the muscle tension and spasm associated with whiplash injuries.
Please do not use a soft collar to immobilise the neck as
this may prolong your symptoms and injury.
Recovery time depends on how
serious your whiplash is. Most cases resolve in a few days. But other neck
strains may take weeks or longer to heal. Remember that everyone heals at a
If you have any further questions about whiplash, and would
like to know more about what you can do next, then please call the clinic on
028 9266 6959 or email us at
You may also like to check out our 100% FREE neck and
shoulder pain report ‘7 Top ways to stop irritating & annoying neck and
shoulder pain’ which can be found here