About whiplash and our treatment for it
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Whiplash is a common cause of neck pain, caused when the neck is jolted suddenly and violently forwards, backwards or sideways – for example during a motor vehicle accident (MVA). The pain comes from the damage caused to the soft tissue surrounding the neck, with any further symptoms experienced known as Whiplash Associated Disorders – which we will discuss shortly. Positive steps can be taken to tackle the pain of whiplash early, including exercises which focus on neck movement; slowly increasing the range of movement to decrease spasming in the muscles.
Our Physiotherapists, based in Slough and Wokingham, will help you get quickly on the road to recovery
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What is whiplash and a whiplash associated disorder?
What are the symptoms of whiplash?
The overstretching of those tender neck tissues, described earlier, causes a pain that leaves the patient unable or unwilling to move their neck.
This in turn causes the joints of the neck to stiffen up, ultimately making recovery much more difficult. Headaches, shoulder pain or pain in the arms could be other symptoms of whiplash.
Whiplash Associated Disorders are the issues resulting from whiplash that aren’t related to pain. Some examples may be a tingling sensation in the arms, dizziness, ringing in the ears, changes in vision, fatigue, poor concentration and memory, and difficulty sleeping. Any of the above symptoms may be experienced as a result of whiplash, but will not necessarily set in immediately after the incident.
It may take up to 12 hours for the symptoms of whiplash to become apparent, and the pain or stiffness experienced is often worse on the day after the injury; continuing to develop and worsen over the course of the next few days.
How long will my symptoms last?
The recovery time for whiplash varies for each individual. The severity of the injury will influence your recovery time, as will previous injuries, how quickly you sought help after the injury and how well your body responds to the treatment. In most cases, the symptoms should ease off within a few days, and in about 60% of cases we see, symptoms are almost completely gone within one to four weeks.
What is the cause of whiplash?
Whiplash is often caused by a sudden movement of the neck, most commonly reported after a motor accident.
The force of impact makes the neck jolt beyond its normal range of movement, which damages the ligaments, tendons and muscles surrounding the neck by overstretching them.
Additional symptoms experienced in the head or arms can be caused by damage or irritation to the nerve roots around the neck. Other causes of whiplash may include a blow to the head, a sports injury, or a violent slip or fall.
What is the treatment for whiplash?
Whiplash treatment revolves primarily around dealing with the pain, and increasing the range of movement in the neck to avoid further pain and complication.
Patients are encouraged to move the neck gently in all directions as soon as possible after the injury, to avoid the neck becoming stiff. Mobilisations and manipulations may be used by a clinician, along with heat treatments and other pain-relieving techniques.
If the pain becomes increasingly severe or if you continue to develop symptoms days after the injury, you should consult with your clinician immediately. Likewise, if you develop problems with walking around, passing urine, or experience dizzy spells when bending your neck, you should seek help.
Why is it important for me to do prescribed exercises?
To feel normal, our bodies need a full range of movement, and this includes your neck. The prescribed exercises are vital to recovering the full range of movement in your neck, to decrease the risk of your neck joints becoming stiff. The amount of improvement and the duration of the pain you experience will all depend on how well you perform the exercises as prescribed.
Take the next step and start your recovery journey with us.
Our services to treat whiplash
We offer a broad range of services to treat whiplash with everything it needs to achieve a full and lasting recovery.
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A message from our Founder
"Do you hesitate or get overwhelmed at the thought of visiting a physio? Perhaps you've had an injury or problem in the past which you haven't been able to get effective treatment for and feel hopeless.
At Empire Physiotherapy we promise to look after you from the start of the consultation all the way to the very end of your journey with us. We curate recovery plans on an individual basis as we believe that every body is unique.
We pride ourselves on really listening and taking our time to focus on what's best for your body - we don't offer generic feedback or overlook even the smallest of details.
You can rest assured that you're in safe hands."
Ken Denford MCSP
0333 050 8521 or 07856 363 491
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