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whiplashWhiplash is an injury to the neck caused by sudden and forceful movement. This typically involves the neck bending forward and then backward, or vice versa. This motion can strain the muscles and ligaments of the neck, which leads to various symptoms.

Common causes of whiplash include automobile accidents, particularly rear-end collisions, and sports injuries, especially in sports where sudden impacts occur.

 

Symptoms of whiplash can include:

● Neck pain and stiffness
● Shoulder pain
● Low back pain
● Dizziness
● Pain in the arm and/or hand
● Numbness in the arm and/or hand
● Ringing in ears
● Blurred vision
● Concentration or memory problems
● Irritability
● Sleeplessness
● Tiredness

Other structures in the neck, such as nerves, may be affected if there is rotation or turning of the neck.

The duration of symptoms can vary, lasting anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Most
people can return to their regular activities within two to seven days, with minimal pain by that
point. However, symptoms may persist longer in some cases, though they usually don’t
significantly impact one’s lifestyle.

Treatment for whiplash at Queen West Physiotherapy & Acupuncture typically involves a
variety of modalities that are aimed at effectively restoring function and reducing pain. These
modalities include:

● Passive joint mobilization: therapists gently and repetitively move the joints in the neck
to reduce pain and restore normal movement.
● Active Stretching, Strengthening, and Conditioning: gentle active movements are
initiated as soon as possible after the accident. These are within pain tolerance and under
the supervision of a physiotherapist. Strengthening and conditioning exercises are
gradually introduced to help the injured individual return to their usual activities with less
pain and increased energy.
● Acupuncture: fine needles are inserted into specific points on the body, which can
significantly reduce symptoms associated with whiplash. Dry needling is also a very
helpful approach at various stages in the recovery process.
● Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Heat, Ice, Massage, Ultrasound,
and Laser: these passive treatments and electrotherapies are additional options used
alongside manual therapy and exercise to aid in the return to usual activity.
● Education: it is crucial to educate the patient on various strategies to facilitate a return to
their previous level of activity. This includes addressing correct posture, lifting
techniques, pacing, home and workplace modifications, and the use of aids to assist with
everyday function.
● Anti-inflammatory medication: in more severe cases, short-term anti-inflammatories may
be prescribed by a doctor to reduce pain and swelling. However, the use of these
medications should be limited due to potential side effects such as stomach pain and
nausea.

By combining these treatment modalities, Queen West Physiotherapy & Acupuncture aims to provide comprehensive care that promotes recovery and restores function in individuals with whiplash injuries.

 

References
1. Al-Khazali, H. M., Ashina, H., Iljazi, A., Al-Sayegh, Z., Lipton, R. B., Ashina, M.,
Ashina, S., & Schytz, H. W. (2022). Psychiatric Sequelae Following Whiplash Injury: A
Systematic Review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, 814079–814079.
https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.814079

2. Teasell, R., Mehta, S., & Loh, E. (2020). Whiplash Injuries. Current Treatment Options
in Rheumatology, 6(4), 394–405. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40674-020-00162-x

3. Fundaun, J., Kolski, M., Baskozos, G., Dilley, A., Sterling, M., & Schmid, A. (2022).
Nerve pathology and neuropathic pain after whiplash: A systematic review and metaanalysis. Physiotherapy, 114, e34–e34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2021.12.2824. Lee, S.-H., Park, S.-Y., Heo, I., Hwang, E.-H., Shin, B.-C., & Hwang, M.-S. (2024).
Efficacy of acupuncture for whiplash injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ
Open, 14(1), e077700–e077700. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2023-077700