Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by sudden movement of head. It is commonly happened during car driving because of rear-end car accidents. But whiplash can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse and other types of traumas such as a fall.

Cause:

Whiplash injury happens due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.

Symptoms:

These are the most common symptoms of whiplash:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Dizziness
  • Pain on arm or hand
  • Numbness in fingers
  • Ringing in ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration problems or memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Sleeplessness
  • Tiredness

Investigation:

  • X-ray: X-ray shows the images of internal tissues, bones and organs onto film.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI shows detailed images of organs and soft tissue structures in body.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan. X-rays and computer technology make horizontal or axial images of body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of body including bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.

                                                    Treatment

Acute phase: In an acute condition patient needs to take rest and icing the area 10-15 minutes for two times a daily. Patient can also use cervical (neck) collar to give neck muscle rest or time for healing process.

Chronic phase: In most cases it will take 14 days to 1 month to heal but if the case is in chronic condition than it can take up to six months to heal.

In chronic condition patient must concern with a physiotherapist for better solution. A physiotherapist will apply two types of treatments. They are:

  • Manual:
  • Activity modification: A physiotherapist will find out the improper techniques for which he/she suffers with the condition.  Also the physiotherapist will correct his/her functional techniques.  
  • Range of motion improving exercises: After checking ROM of the affected region physiotherapist will improve the condition of restricted motion. In this stage physiotherapist can apply some stretching exercises.
  • Strengthening exercises: To improve muscle endurance and capacity patient have to continue strengthening exercises.
  • Electrical:

     1: UST- It is a sound wave which passes through in deep tissues and also makes a resonance that increase blood circulation and release pain.

     2: TENS- Electromagnetic wave that helps to reduce pain.

     3: HIL- Helps in deep penetration and reduce pain.

     4: ESWT- In case of chronic condition ESWT helps to create micro trauma and also helps in automatic healing.

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