About Whiplash

What Is Whiplash And How Is It Treated?

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that is caused by sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards or sideways. Whiplash occurs when the soft tissues in the neck become stretched, damaged and sprained. If severe enough, it can last a very long time and seriously limit your day-to-day activities.

If you’ve ever suffered from whiplash, you’ll know just how painful it can be. Often, whiplash will get better on its own or after a few weeks or months using some simple treatment techniques. However, whiplash can also cause some really severe and troublesome symptoms that can last a long time.

Common Causes Of Whiplash

Whiplash can occur if your head is violently thrown forwards, backwards or sideways. The common causes of whiplash are:

  • A blow to the head which can occur during sport such as rugby and boxing
  • Road traffic collisions and accidents
  • A slip or fall where the head is suddenly jolted backwards
  • Being struck with a heavy or solid object

The Symptoms Of Whiplash

There are many different symptoms related to whiplash which can help you to identify whether you have it or not. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck stiffness and difficulty moving your head
  • Neck pain and tenderness
  • Quite severe headaches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Harsh pain in the shoulder and arms

There are also some less common whiplash symptoms including pins and needles in your arms and hands, tiredness, dizziness, memory loss, poor concentration and irritability. It can take several hours for the symptoms to develop after you injure your neck and the symptoms are often a lot worse the day after the injury was sustained. The whiplash symptoms may continue to get worse for several days.

When To Seek Medical Advice

If you’ve recently been involved in a road accident or you’ve been the victim of a sudden impact to your head, you should seek medical advice straight away. It’s important to diagnose whiplash as soon as possible, but you may also be suffering from other ailments such as concussion.

Visit your GP as soon as you can and let them know that you think you may have whiplash. They’ll ask you how the injury happened and about your symptoms, and may also examine your neck for muscle spasms and tenderness. Your doctor may also assess the range of movement in your neck.

How Is Whiplash Treated?

Whiplash will usually get better on its own after some basic treatment, but how exactly is whiplash treated? Well, some of the best ways to treat whiplash include:

  • Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Stronger painkillers are available on prescription if they don’t help. It’s important to read the leaflet that comes with your medication, to check whether it’s suitable for you.
  • Keeping your neck mobile and continuing with your day-to-day activities. It is not recommended to use a neck brace or collar.
  • Physiotherapy, neck exercises and neck massages can help to reduce the pain of your whiplash.

Norfolk Clinic offer treatment for the following problems:

  • Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Whiplash
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • And more..

Call Norfolk Clinic