Whiplash can occur with many different accidents but is often seen in motor vehicle accidents. The weight of the head and spine is whipped back and forth with the fast movement of an accident or fall. The muscles in the neck don’t have time to react and the harsh forces, strain, rip and tear muscles, ligaments and other tissues. In severe cases, fractures can occur in the bones of the neck (vertebrae).
Due to the shock and trauma initially, from an accident, pain may or may not be present. Whiplash typically feels worse the 1-2 days after the injury as inflammation sets in and tissues become swollen. This can lead to headaches, pain with movement and even numbness/tingling into the upper extremities.
Often, people can have long-standing weakness of the neck muscles, leading to future problems, if their whiplash is not fully treated. Strengthening and postural exercises are very important to maintain stability in the neck after a whiplash
How physical therapy helps
There are different phases of treatment to help you after suffering whiplash. Our physical therapists will work with your physician on the appropriate treatment to help you recover and relieve your pain. At first, very gentle hands-on therapy, massage, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation may be administered to relieve the pain and gently help swollen tissues recover.
Gradual progression is then made with restoring range of motion and beginning very gentle exercises. As you progress, the pain reduces and your range of motion improves, strengthening and postural exercises will be introduced to help you have a full recovery. It is very important to continue through with the recommended treatment plan of your physical therapist to achieve a full recovery and prevent future problems from occurring. Contact US Rehabilitation & Health Services today at Ferndale, Dearborn, Ypsilanti, and Southfield, MI centers to discover how our physical therapists can help you relieve your whiplash pain quickly and make a full recovery.