If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, then very likely the topic of Whiplash is of your interest. Hands for Health Therapy Clinic have helped many patients over the last decade recover from all kinds of pains, injuries and of course Whiplash.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a relatively common injury that occurs to a person’s neck following a sudden acceleration-deceleration force, most commonly from motor vehicle accidents. The injury usually involves the muscles and ligaments of the neck. The most common type of car accident is the rear impact, and most typically, the occupant in the vehicle that gets “rear-ended” (hit from behind) is at the greatest risk of injury, including whiplash. Whiplash is also sustained in many other ways, including head banging, bungee jumping falls or during a fast or sudden movement which may be with or without impact creating one of the major injuries covered by insurance companies.

Fortunately, whiplash is typically not a life threatening injury, but it can lead to a prolonged period of partial disability.

Causes of Whiplash

Whiplash is commonly caused by a motor vehicle accident in which the car the person is riding is struck from a vehicle from behind without notice. It is commonly thought the rear impact causes the head and neck to be forced into hyperextension as the seat pushes the person’s torso forward – and the unrestrained head and neck fall backwards. After a short delay the head and neck then recover and are thrown into a hyper flexed position.

The most common symptoms related to whiplash include: Neck pain and stiffness, headache, shoulder pain, dizziness, fatigue, jaw pain, arm pain, arm weakness, numbness, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears and back pain.

Whiplash Prevention

Make sure the head restraints in your car are in the appropriate position to support the head in the event of a rear end collision. Decreasing driving speed and leaving adequate distance between you and the car in front is an effective whiplash prevention strategy, because breaking suddenly is a major cause of rear end collisions.

Importance of Proper Injury Rehabilitation

Health professionals stress the need to have a proper treatment and rehabilitation for an early return to usual activities after a car accident or any other way in which whiplash is sustained. Most importantly, the patient with whiplash needs to be informed that usual activities may be temporarily painful but are not harmful. It is important to begin rehabilitation immediately to prevent future pain. In many clinical cases, cervical collars are recommended until the pain ceases. The rehabilitation program is usually between six to twelve weeks in length. If adequate treatment and rest is not taken until the injury is fully healed it can grow into a chronic pain.