Whiplash-associated disorder treatment should incorporate rehabilitation methods aimed at:
The whiplash-associated disorder is an umbrella term which covers a collection of symptoms affecting the neck area. The disorder can sometimes stretch to cause pain and discomfort in the upper back, limb(s), jaw, and even the face.
Whiplash occurs when a head is forcibly thrown backwards than forwards immediately. This quick motion causes injury to the spine, muscles, discs, nerves, ligaments, and other neck tissue. Considering, it is no wonder that whiplash usually develops in people who have been in a car accident. It is also possible to get a whiplash-associated disorder during an assault or in contact sports, such as football, where you are at high risk of getting tackled.
Whiplash develops within a few days after an injury or accident. Some of the possible symptoms that can occur in the neck area include unusual stiffness, pain, and limited range of motion. Your shoulders, arms, and upper back, as well, may feel tender. It is also possible to feel dizziness and fatigue, all which prevent you from performing everyday activities.
In some less severe cases, people report feeling better and healed just a few weeks after the accident. However, some people develop chronic whiplash-associated disorder and struggle with consequences for months, even years. In such cases, professional treatment and rehabilitation program is necessary.
Vitalis Physiotherapy tailors whiplash-associated disorder treatment to ensure the fastest and most optimal recovery. We first carefully examine and educate you on the condition so that you know what to expect from the recovery.
Based on your specific case we may employ several treatment methods to help unload the injured area and promote healing, help normalise tension in the upper back and neck area, or mobilise joints to restore full range of movement.
Most broadly speaking, the treatment can be divided into three phases:
Phase 1, from 0-4 days after the initial injury:
- Unload painful area
- Promote early healing
- Maintain baseline physical activity
Phase 2, from after 4 days to 6 weeks:
- Hands-on treatment, including soft tissue mobilisation and manual therapy
- Gentle strengthening exercises
Phase 3, from 6 weeks to 12 weeks:
- Intensive strengthening program
- Integration of the neck movement into whole-body movement
- Return to the normal level of activity