Whiplash is an injury that is usually associated with a motor vehicle accident however, any impact or rapid movement that causes the head to jerk forwards or backwards and straining the neck can cause a whiplash injury. Whiplash can affect the muscles, tendons and other soft tissue structures of the neck. The sudden force stretches and tears the muscle fibres and tendons in the neck causing damage the surrounding structures, instability, decreased range of motion and pain. 
Although whiplash is often associated with motor vehicle accidents, you can also get whiplash from contact sports, physical abuse, horseback riding, falls, getting hit in the head by a heavy object or cycling accidents.
The severity of the patient’s signs and symptoms can be classified using The Quebec Task Force classification of whiplash grades as follows:
Grade 0: no neck pain or any physical signs
Grade 1: neck complaint of pain, stiffness or tenderness only
Grade 2: neck complaint and musculoskeletal signs such as decreased range of motion and point tenderness
Grade 3: neck complaint and neurological signs
Grade 4: neck complaint and fracture or dislocation

Whiplash injury symptoms:

Symptoms will usually appear within 24 hours after the injury has occurred however other times symptoms may develop after a few days or months.  

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision

Less common symptoms of whiplash neck injury:

  • Difficulty with concentration and memory
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Chronic pain in the neck, shoulders and head
  • Numbness or weakness in your arms

Treatment of whiplash injury:

Following a whiplash injury, early implementation of active exercise has a positive effect on pain and disability. It is best to seek advice from your doctor or health provider before performing exercises and to determine what types of exercises are best for your pain symptoms. The guidelines recommend that range of motion exercises that are implemented directly after the injury as part of the treatment results in reduced pain levels and improved function. Furthermore it is important for patients to “act as usual” as it encourages function early after the injury and therefore, resulting in decreased pain and disability.

Chiropractic treatment of whiplash involves neck manipulation/mobilizations, soft tissue work, electrotherapy, dry needling and advice on exercises. Chiropractors are trained in the treatment and diagnosis of whiplash. In our practice in Joondalup – Lakeside Chiropractic we have dealt with many whiplash cases and insurance reports for these. If you need any assistance in dealing with your injuries we are happy to assist. Located on Central Walk, Joondalup; ideal for all Perth’s Northern Suburbs. With Visitors from various surrounding areas, such as: Wanneroo, Sinagra, Butler, Clarkson, Jindalee, Heathridge, Edgewater, Mindarie and Burns Beach. We have HICAPS Facilities onsite for all major health Insurance providers, a Medibank preferred practitioner and apart of the BUPA members First Network. For any further information or to make an appointment visit our website www.lakesidechiro.com.au or give us a call 9300 0095

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