Whiplash: Prevention and Recovery
Are you currently experiencing or have you ever experienced neck pain in the past? You are not alone! 70 per cent of individuals have had neck pain at least once in their lifetime1. A cause of neck pain, most common among drivers, is generally identified as “whiplash.” If you’ve ever been in a car accident or been pushed forcefully from the front or back, it has most likely forced your head too far back and/or too far forward, causing neck pain.
RecoveryThe bulk of your recovery occurs within the first 2 to 3 months following the injury, so this time is crucial! Unless you’ve had a neck fracture, it has been found that returning to normal activities as soon as possible is the best treatment for whiplash and contrary to popular belief, rest and wearing neck collars is not recommended.
If you have endured a whiplash it is also important that you consult with a health care professional to understand what has just happened, what to expect and what the best steps are for recovery. This may include medications or electrical modalities for the pain and/or inflammation, exercises, stretches and massage therapy that may promote faster healing. A physiotherapist, in this case, could help you manage your pain through manual therapy and exercise prescription to reduce pain, strengthen those neck muscles that may have been damaged in the accident to prevent any further complications and to encourage a faster recovery.4 In addition, physiotherapy can help identify potential issues with your posture following the injury, as the structures affected can influence the way you stand, sit or lie down which can lead to additional problems down the road.