This whiplash movement often happens in car accidents. People who have been in an accident often complain of neck pain and stiffness afterwards, sometimes not until a few days after the accident.
For most people the pain is mild, does not interfere with their normal activities and gradually gets better. However, for some people recovery is slower especially if the injury is more severe.
Research indicates that people who carry on with their normal activities recover faster than people who stay at home and reduce their activities.
Neck pain is the most common symptom associated with a whiplash injury. People with whiplash may also experience:
You should seek medical advice after an accident if you have:
A registered health professional such as your GP or Physiotherapist is the best person to advise you about how to manage your Whiplash.
If your pain is mild, your doctor will advise you to continue normal daily activities and, if required, use pain-relieving medication such as paracetamol.
If you have more severe pain, you may be advised to continue with light activities, use pain relieving medication and do exercises. The exercises will help to restore movement and flexibility in your neck, and ensure that your muscles are acting to support the neck. Your Physiotherapist is the best person to teach you these exercises.
Treatments that helps Whiplash:
Treatments that do NOT help Whiplash and are not recommended:
Most people will be able to continue with their normal activities, but it may take weeks, or months, for the discomfort to go away completely. An “active” recovery in which you continue your normal activities is the best way to recover.
Pain is a normal reaction to being hurt. Pain during the recovery period does not necessarily mean that further injury has occurred.
Most people recover completely from Whiplash although some take longer than others. Every injury is different.
For more information, or to have your neck assessed and treated by a Physiotherapist, contact us on (02) 46473373.
Extracts from “Your Guide to Whiplash Recovery” by the Motor Accidents Authority (see attached).