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Home     What we treat     Whiplash    

Whiplash

Manchester Physiotherapists aids person with whiplash.

What is Whiplash?



'Whiplash syndrome' is the name given to a group of neck pain syndromes. Occasionally this injury occurs as a result of sporting trauma, but more often it is a consequence of a car accident (most commonly resulting from rear-end vehicle impacts). Permanent damage is uncommon and your long-term outlook is good. Whiplash injuries are not usually serious and do not involve damage to the bones, discs or nerves in the neck.

In a rear-end collision, the head and neck are thrown back in relation to the body and the stretch is applied to muscles at the front of the neck. Joints at the back of the neck called facet joints are compressed and can also be damaged.

In a head-on collision, the neck and head continue to move forward whilst the body is stopped suddenly. The head only stops moving forward when the chin makes contact with the chest. This has the effect of stretching the structures at the back of the neck, namely ligaments and muscles.

The cause of pain in the acute (recent) stage after whiplash may be acute muscle injury, but there can be other significant injuries depending on the force of the injury. These can include spinal fracture, haematomas (bleeding into the tissues) and nerve damage.
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Signs & Symptoms



Immediately following the injury the pain may not be too severe. However, the neck becomes more stiff and painful, usually reaching its worst point the day after the incident occurs. Most people report pain in the back of the neck, worse on movement. Pain may radiate up to the head, across to the shoulders, arms or between the shoulder blades. Headaches are typically at the back of the head and spread forwards over the head.

Additionally, some bruising may occur in the seatbelt area. If rotation or turning of the neck is involved, then other structures in the neck may be affected, such as the nerves which pass between the vertebrae and out to the arm. The symptoms of whiplash may resemble other conditions and medical problems.



Always consult your physiotherapist for an early diagnosis. For mild to moderate severity of injury, early physiotherapy helps to ensure a full and quicker recovery. However, for severe injuries, physiotherapy for the neck may not be practical until a period of one to two weeks has passed as the patient is in too much pain during the initial period.

To see if physiotherapy can help you, arrange a free phone consultation with one of our qualified physiotherapists.
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How does Physiotherapy Help?



Manchester Physio is experienced in dealing with whiplash and can use a variety of techniques to alleviate your pain and return you to full levels of activity. It is important to start treatment early as whiplash can develop into chronic back pain. Manchester Physio can:
  • Use massage techniques to speed up recovery.
  • Apply joint manipulation techniques.
  • Use ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
  • Prescribe a progressive rehabilitation programme and monitor it.
  • Postural Alignment Training, muscle balance work, and taping
  • Provide supportive adaptations eg cervical pillows and lumbar supports
  • Muscle relaxation techniques


Manchester Physiotherapists aids person with whiplash.

Arrange an immediate appointment.
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Treatment & Rehabilitation



If you are in a car accident, it is very important to be checked by a doctor in the accident and emergency department. Once the doctor is satisfied the damage is restricted to soft tissues, the patient is referred to a physiotherapist to undergo rehabilitation. Physiotherap treatment will quicken your recovery. This is a serious injury which should be dealt with accordingly.
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Physiotherapy Treatment may include:
  • Ice applications for the first 24 hours ' applying a cold pack, or even a small bag of frozen vegetables, such as peas or corn, placed in a light towel to the sore area for 10-15 minutes every few hours can be helpful. This will decrease the inflammation and cramping.
  • After 24 hours, use of both heat and cold can give you relief. Alternating between these can be helpful.
  • Gentle active movement after 24 hours ' movement is important for healing. Move the head frequently and gently in all directions, as long as the movement is comfortable and not forced.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications ' take these as directed and approved by your doctor. Inflammation is inevitable after whiplash so these medications can prove to be of significant importance during the first week post injury.
The Rehabilitation Program is usually between 4 and 8 weeks in length and includes the following; a detailed initial assessment, a combination of treatments, regular reports can be provided to your insurance company if requested.

Manchester Physio stress the importance of proper care after injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident and encourage each patient to follow their instructions closely, following through with every component of the program.


To arrange an appointment, call now on 0161 883 0077 or email: office@manchesterphysio.co.uk


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Next steps



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