An Impact that Causes the Head to Jerk Forward and Backward Can Strain the Muscles of the Neck
Neck injury is one of the most common injuries in motor vehicle accident. Although usually associated with motor vehicle accidents, any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward can cause whiplash. While most people involved in motor vehicle accidents recover quickly with no chronic symptoms, some continue to be bothered with persistent symptoms for years after the injury.
What is Whiplash Injury and Whiplash-Associated Disorders?
The term "whiplash injury" describes damage to both the bony and the soft tissue structures of the neck, while "whiplash associated disorders" describes a more severe and chronic condition.
Whiplash is a very painful result of a motor vehicle accident in which your head and neck were thrown forwards and backwards, usually with low-velocity rear-end automobile collisions, injuring the muscles and other structures of the neck. The impact causes injury to the bony or soft-tissue structures, which in turn may lead to a variety of clinical manifestations called “Whiplash-Associated Disorders.”
What are the Symptoms of Whiplash Injury and Whiplash-Associated Disorders?
Symptoms of whiplash injury depend on the extent of tissue damage and severity of the injury. The most common symptoms of whiplash injury include:
- Neck pain and stiffness with limited motions
- Headaches and dizziness
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Back and arm pain and weakness
- Jaw pain
- Visual disturbances
- Ringing in the ears
In a more severe and chronic "whiplash associated disorder," symptoms include emotional and psychological disturbances such as depression, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress syndrome and sleep disturbance or insomnia.
How to Manage Physical Injuries from Whiplash and Whiplash-Associated Disorders?
Management for whiplash and whiplash-associated disorders depends on the severity of the neck injury. Severe neck injuries with associated bone or spinal cord damage may require surgical intervention. With less severe injuries involving soft tissues, treatment is directed at symptom relief.
Self-Care for Whiplash Injury and Whiplash-Associated Disorders
Minor injures without serious signs and symptoms and without any evidence of neurologic problems can be managed with the following remedies, with the goal to decrease the symptoms of the strain. This also applies as an immediate treatment after the injury.
- Rest. Avoid any motion or activity that exacerbates the neck pain.
- Cold compress applied to the neck for 15-20 minutes helps to minimize swelling and pain. Repeat every hour, as needed, for the first 48-72 hours after the injury, then switch to warm compress thereafter.
- Over-the-counter pain medications can be used with doctor consultation.
- Cervical collar is used to immobilize the neck only for the first few days, but discontinued later. Immobilization allowed the neck muscles to weaken and become more problematic.
Management for Severe Whiplash Injury and Whiplash-Associated Disorders
If whiplash pain or related symptoms are severe and persistent, medical management is warranted. The following treatments are some of the possible options that could be used:
- Physical therapy consisting of muscle strengthening, flexibility and range of motion exercises and therapeutic modalities that helps with pain relief.
- Pain medications and muscle relaxants could be prescribed by a physician.
- Non-traditional medical treatments such as chiropractic, manual manipulation and massage, or acupuncture may be helpful for some patients. Consult your doctor.
Whipping the Whiplash with Recovapro
Whiplash injuries damage the soft tissues of the neck, causing strain and sprain, leaving your neck stiff and painful. Recovapro penetrates the soft tissue, giving the muscles a gentle stretch, triggering relaxation. It’s a percussion therapy device which can soften stiff neck, so you’ll be relieved of muscle aches, pain and soreness, and speed up your recovery from whiplash.
General Guidelines for Recovapro Treatment
If a specific tissue injury can be identified as the source of pain, treatment focuses directly on that tissue injury. The appropriate technique depends greatly upon what tissues are injured and how significant the damage is.
Early stages of injury can be addressed with light stroking or gliding to release tension, while deeper pressures in the late stages are beneficial to break adhesions. Techniques such as longitudinal gliding and sweeping cross fiber are useful at various stages of whiplash rehabilitation.
- Using the round head attachment, rest the Recovapro on the identified injured site for a few seconds, then glide longitudinally along the length of the entire muscle.
- Cross fiber stroking is then applied to broaden the affected muscle, moving the gun side to side starting at one end going to the other end.
- Gentle stretching of the neck is also an integral part of the treatment process.