Whiplash is a unique category of neck pain that is often the result of trauma such as a car accident. It is typically related to the rapid forward and backward movement of the neck. With this type of neck pain, there are multiple other variables that can be involved that can contribute to it’s severity, recovery, and overall impact on your life.

You might feel…

    • Stiffness to neck, arms, upper back, and even the face
    • Numbness into arms, neck and upper back
    • Headache, dizziness, nausea
    • Generalized weakness but more with head and neck
    • Altered sleeping habits and patterns
    • Difficulty with concentration

Possible Causes…

    • Motor vehicle accident, typically a rear-ending or front of car type impact
    • Rapid forward and backward motion of the head as often sustained in football or other high energy contact sports

Things To Try…

    • Postural training
    • Manual therapy techniques to cervical spine
    • Specific corrective exercise to address neck dysfunction and weakness
    • During acute stages, general light exercise such as walking
    • Medication and other modalities such as ice or heat may be necessary to calm
    • Modalities such as ice or heat may be necessary to calm symptoms enough to participate in corrective exercises.
    • Relaxation techniques such as “belly breathing”

Every individual and every episode of neck pain is very unique. The treatment suggestions listed above include several options to try and see how they may improve your situation. In addition, a thorough evaluation by a physical therapist can help identify specific features about your condition and how to best manage them. Understanding as much as possible about your current condition is a very important aspect of the recovery process and will empower you to take the necessary steps to get back to your normal activities with as little discomfort as possible.

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