Can a Physiotherapists Help With Whiplash?
Chronic pain and other problems related to whiplash injury can make the simplest of tasks difficult to manage and significantly affect your daily functioning. While various pain medications may provide some initial relief, merely masking the symptoms of whiplash will eventually lead to more serious physical problems. Healthfx Physiotherapy Physiotherapists provide effective treatments that not only help to reduce pain and the range of symptoms common to whiplash related injury, but will also identify and address underlying issues in the head and neck that may be the source of chronic whiplash pain.
What is Whiplash?
The result of a sudden impact that causes rapid forward and backward movement of the head and subsequently affects the neck and shoulders, whiplash is often the result of a motor vehicle accident but may also occur due to a range of activities from improper body alignment while performing strenuous tasks, to accidental injury incurred during sports or recreational activities. In precise terms, whiplash injury refers to damage to the joint structures and soft tissues in affected areas that frequently develop into long-term whiplash-related disorders.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Although whiplash injury is centralized in the neck and spine, pain may extend to the arms, shoulders, hips and legs. Many sufferers experience symptoms that include chronic headaches, blurred vision, numbness in the hands and arms and discomfort that alternates between generalized soreness to sharp acute pain. If left untreated, chronic whiplash cases can develop into problems with anxiety, depression and drug dependency in an attempt to manage pain. In addition, trauma of the spine caused by the initial whiplash injury may not surface for months and eventually create seemingly unrelated health and mobility problems. A licensed Healthfx Physiotherapy physical therapist will provide a tailored treatment plan for whiplash injury and offer lifestyle recommendations to improve flexibility relieve chronic pain and facilitate overall healing.
Physical Therapy Care for Whiplash Injury
Following a thorough physical evaluation and medical history assessment, your Healthfx Physiotherapy physical therapist will identify all areas of mobility that have been restricted due to whiplash injury by checking for intervertebral disc injury and assessing spinal joint function. Healthfx Physiotherapy physical therapists’ care for whiplash is always geared toward restoring mobility and flexibility without the use of medication or invasive procedures.
Depending on your specific condition, physiotherapy care involve manual therapy to treat the joints, combined with postural techniques and gentle stretching to induce muscle relaxation. Patients are instructed in carrying out specific exercises at home geared to promote disc realignment to reduce pain and whiplash symptoms. Your physical therapist may also recommend additional therapies that include therapeutic laser to treat pain and encourage healing. Treatments may last a few weeks up to a few months and are tailored according to the severity of your condition as well as several other factors including age, lifestyle and level of activity.