Physical Therapy for Neck Injuries & Whiplash

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck resulting from an abrupt jerking motion of the head either backwards or forwards. This motion causes the muscles and ligaments of the neck to be stretched beyond their normal range of motion, resulting in a neck sprain or a neck strain. Damage can be done to the soft tissues and muscles of the neck, as well as the inter-vertebral discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots. Whiplash is most commonly caused by automobile accidents, but can be caused by any activity that causes the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the neck and cervical spine. It is important to treat whiplash early to prevent immobility and return to activities of daily living quickly.

What are whiplash symptoms?

There are many different types of symptoms associated with whiplash.  The most common symptoms include:
  • neck pain & stiffness
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • fatigue 
  • dizziness
  • inflammation
If you have any of the following the symptoms you should seek medical attention as soon as possible:
  • pain spreads to arms or shoulders
  • pain when moving the head
  • numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms
  • ringing in the ears or blurred vision

Whiplash Treatment

Treatment for whiplash varies depending on severity of the injury. While mild whiplash can be treated by ice and anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy is the mainstay of treatment for more severe cases. Physical Therapy is an ideal and effective way to deal a With our experienced physical therapists, a patient is more likely to recover fully from the injury and be able to return to their daily life sooner than later.

Our services include pain management treatment as well as patient-specific exercises. The initial goal of decreasing muscle spasms, reducing inflammation as well as pain, is achieved through the use of modalities such as:
  • ultrasound
  • electrical stimulation
  • soft tissue massages 
As the pain and inflammation quell, the focus of the treatment shifts to strengthening and restoring mobility of the neck muscles, as well as avoiding further strain on the neck through the use of:
  • stretching exercises
  • postural exercises
  • range of motion exercises  
Call us today to schedule a consultation at 240-724-6781.

Read about related conditions: back (lumbar) sprain and strain