Whiplash is a general term used for head and neck injuries where a person’s head moves backwards and then forwards suddenly with great force. We commonly see whiplash in motor vehicle accident patients but it can also result from physical abuse, sports injuries or falls.
The acceleration-deceleration mechanism of energy transfer to the neck in a whiplash incident causes irritation to the structures of the neck and may not be noticed for 12-24 hours, sometimes longer.
Symptoms can include but are not limited to decrease neck and shoulder movement, swelling, neck and back pain, headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ear and shoulder and/or arm pain.
Whiplash affects everyone differently, so it is important to get a correct diagnosis following the incident. While serious incidents may require medical assistance from a GP/hospital, minor whiplashes can be well managed conservatively and with osteopathic treatment.
Osteopathic treatment for Whiplash
- Your osteopath will perform a complete assessment and determine a diagnosis of your pain
- Develop a treatment and management plan going forward, including any take home advice for the first few days
- Osteopathy may help reduce muscle tension and spasms around the neck and shoulder joints and help improve range of movement and decrease pain
- Osteopathic assessment and treatment will include the thoracic and lumbar spine, hip and pelvic areas to address any other strains or injuries.
- Treatment may help promote blood and lymphatic flow, helping reduce pain and inflammation.
- Once initial acute pain and tissue strains/sprains have improved, treatment can then progress to exercises and rehabilitation to restore mobility