Whiplash Injury

Whiplash/Motor Vehicle Injury

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is the term to describe neck pain and injury after an accident. It’s actually the spraining of your neck’s soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles, discs, and small joints) and can occur in car accidents, sporting activities and accidental falls. It is a relatively common injury that occurs to a person’s neck following a sudden acceleration-deceleration force that causes unrestrained, rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck, most commonly from motor vehicle accidents.

Facts about whiplash injury

  • Whiplash is a relatively common injury that is often ignored or mistreated due to lack of understanding of the condition
  • It is usually the result of an impact while in a stationary or moving position.
  • Early range of motion and exercises lead to a more rapid recovery than prolonged immobilization or use of a cervical collar
  • Failure to properly educate and treat patients with whiplash can lead to chronic psychosocial symptoms including depression and anxiety
These factors DO NOT predict risk of poor recovery
  • age, gender, marital status and education
  • seat belt use, awareness of impending collision, position in vehicle and speed of collision
  • pre-collision pain or general health status
  • high healthcare utilisation for treatment of whiplash

Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)

The impact may result in bony or soft tissue injuries which in turn may lead to a variety of clinical manifestations called WAD. WAD is classified into 4 grades.

Grade 1 – Pain and stiffness, no physical signs

Grade 2 – Pain with physical signs, no neurological signs

Grade 3 – Neurological deficit, no fracture

Grade 4 – Fracture of the spine

Symptoms and disorders that can manifest in all grades include, but are not limited to, deafness, dizziness, tinnitus, headache, memory loss, dysphagia, and temporomandibular joint pain

What do we do?

  1. Do a detailed examination
  2. Identify the patients at risk of poor recovery and extend of injury
  3. Provide a comprehensive treatment plan
  4. Monitor progress of recovery
  5. Review and take necessary recommended action
Our experienced physiotherapist will do a detailed assessment to determine the extent of your injury and discuss with you in detail about your injury and the recovery process.
Our physiotherapist will discuss about the recommended treatment plan and work closely with you one on one throughout the recovery process
Our physiotherapist will work in collaboration with your doctor, the insurance company, your lawyer if you have one, and update your progress appropriately in a timely manner.

The treatment may include one or more of the following, but not limited to:

  • Guided exercises program
  • Manual therapy
  • Muscle mobilisation/myofascial release
  • Acupuncture / Trigger point needling
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Electrotherapy
  • Heat / cold therapy

Evidence Based Practice

We follow the Canadian guidelines and latest evidence to treat whiplash injury.

Evidence shows, starting physiotherapy treatment as early as within 4 days of the injury has a better outcome.

Evidence shows early mobilization, being active and return to normal activities ASAP following a whiplash injury shortens the recovery period.

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