Whiplash: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

A Overview Of Whiplash

Whiplash

Whiplash

Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when you suffer a sudden and violent head movement whether it is forwards, sideways or backwards. The injury negatively impacts the soft tissues found in your neck which as a result of the violent movement are damaged.

If you suffer an accident and sustain whiplash it could take anything from a few weeks to several months to recovery from your injury. However, in many cases whiplash recovery time can take much longer.

To find out more about whiplash injuries, the symptoms and treatments, please click on the Select a Section below.

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What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury that you can sustain if you suffer a violent jolt to your head whether it is forwards, backwards or sideways. You could also suffer this type of injury when you suffer any sort of trauma to your head that results in the ligaments and other soft tissues found in your neck being torn. The most common cause of whiplash happens in road traffic accidents although a collision can leave you with a whiplash injury too. Other causes are detailed below.

The symptoms associated with whiplash do not always manifest themselves straight away but signs of there being something wrong can affect you a day or several days later following an accident that left you with a neck injury. However, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible no matter how a head or neck injury occurred. An early examination and a correct treatment that is set in place sooner rather than later ensures you are made as comfortable as possible without delay.

If you suffered an accident whether you were travelling in a car or involved in some other kind of incident that resulted in you sustaining a neck injury and would like to know if you would qualify for free private whiplash treatment and free private physiotherapy in your area, please call us today and one of our health experts can let you know in minutes.

What Causes Whiplash?

You can suffer whiplash if your head moves violently forwards, sideways or backwards with the most common causes of this type of injury occurring for the following reasons:

  • You are involved in a road traffic accident and/or collision and suffered a violent jolt to your head
  • You sustained a sudden blow to your head – good examples being if you play rugby or enjoy boxing as well as taking part in any other high contact sport
  • You slip and fall which results in your head being suddenly and violently jolted backwards, forwards or sideways
  • You are struck on your head by a solid or heavy object

To find out if you quality for any free private whiplash treatment in your area or whether you could receive free physiotherapy aftercare, please contact one of our health experts today. We can let you know in minutes the sort of treatment, physio and medical aids you may be entitled to receive free of charge.

What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

If you suffer any sort of violent jolt to your head it could mean you suffer a serious neck injury and there are specific common whiplash symptoms to watch out for which are detailed below:

  • Neck pain that will not go away
  • Shoulder pain that makes it difficult to move and which does not feel any better over time
  • Discomfort and pain in your eyes making it hard to focus
  • Tenderness around your neck and shoulders
  • Stiffness in your neck making it hard to move it
  • A difficulty turning or moving your head in either direction
  • Headaches that will not go away
  • Muscle spasms in your neck

There are some less common whiplash symptoms which includes the following:

  • You experience pins and needles in your hands and arms
  • You might feel dizzy
  • You could experience memory loss
  • You feel tired
  • You find it hard to focus and concentrate
  • You are irritable

It is worth noting that it can take a few hours for whiplash symptoms to become evident following this type of neck injury. All too often, symptoms are a lot worse the day after you injured your neck and they worsen over the following days.

To speak to someone about free private whiplash treatment and whether you would qualify for it in your area, please call us today. It only takes several minutes to find out what sort of treatment and/or physiotherapy aftercare you may be entitled to following an incident that left you with a whiplash injury.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention for Whiplash?

If you were involved in a road traffic accident and suffered any sort of high impact, sudden injury to your head, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible bearing in mind that whiplash symptoms may only present themselves a several hours or a day following the incident. If you go to A&E or a doctor’s surgery, you would be asked how and when your injury occurred.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention without delay:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Discomfort and pain in your eyes
  • Tenderness in your neck and shoulders
  • Stiffness in your neck and shoulders
  • A difficulty turning or moving your head in either direction
  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms

You would need to let whoever examines you know what sort of symptoms you are experiencing and when they first started. A doctor would also want to establish whether you are having any muscle spasms and if there is any tenderness in your neck. They would also assess how much movement you have in your neck.

If you suffered whiplash whether in a road traffic accident, a collision or because you sustained another type of sudden and violent blow to your head and would like to know if you qualify for free private whiplash medical treatment in your area, please get in touch with us today.

How is Whiplash Diagnosed?

A doctor would ask specific questions about your whiplash injury and any symptoms you are experiencing as a result of an accident that resulted in you jolting your head violently forwards, sideways or backwards. The doctor would need to know when your symptoms first started as well as their severity and frequency. You would be asked how well you can perform everyday tasks after which time, a doctor would examine you.

During your examination, if the doctor suspects whiplash, they would touch your head and move it around to determine how much mobility you have in your neck, head and arms without experiencing too much pain and discomfort which all helps determine the following:

  • How much movement and motion you have in your neck and shoulders
  • The degree of pain and discomfort you feel when moving your neck and whether it causes your pain to increases
  • How much tenderness you have in your neck, shoulders and back
  • How good your reflexes are and whether you have strength and sensations in your limbs

The doctor may decide to take X-rays to rule out any fractures, dislocations and to determine whether you are suffering from arthritis. You may even have to undergo a CT or an MRI scan which would help establish the extent of damage that has occurred to soft tissues in and around your neck.

What is the Treatment for Whiplash?

Whiplash treatment

Whiplash treatment

There is no one treatment for whiplash that has proved more effective than another. However, pain control is vitally important when you suffer this type of injury to your neck. Depending on the severity of your whiplash, a doctor would recommend that you do gentle exercises and that you undergo physiotherapy which is effective when it comes to speeding up recovery from a whiplash injury. Other treatments you might receive for whiplash could include the following:

  • Traction
  • Massage
  • Ice
  • Heat
  • Ultrasound
  • Injections

It is worth noting that in the past people who sustained whiplash would wear a cervical collar as a way of immobilising the neck which was thought to be the best way to treat this type of neck injury. Today, the consensus is that neck movement is far more effective and that you should apply ice to your neck for the first 24-hours before commencing gentle exercises with an end goal being to keep things mobile otherwise you might develop stiffness in your neck which could extend down to your shoulders. As such, the main goal of any sort of treatment for whiplash is as follows:

  • To control pain
  • To restore normal movement and motion in your neck
  • To get you back to normal as quickly and safely as possible

However, the sort of treatment you receive would depend on the complexity and severity of your injury. You may only need to take over-the-counter pain relief tablets but if your pain and discomfort is more severe, a doctor may decide to prescribe stronger medication and that you undergo pain relief treatment as well as physiotherapy which is thought to be the best way to get you back to normal.

When it comes to self-care, there are certain things you can do that would reduce the amount of pain and discomfort you may be feeling and which could also help speed up your whiplash recovery time.

  • Use ice packs on your neck for the first few days (a bag of peas in a tea towel works well). You should apply the ice pack to your neck for no longer than 10 minutes at a time and it should help reduce the risk of more swelling
  • You can apply a warm compress after a few days (a warm hot water bottle works well). However, you should only apply the warm compress for around 15 minutes several times a day which could soothe any pain and discomfort
  • Keeping a good posture helps during the whiplash recovery process
  • Using a supportive pillow when sleeping may reduce discomfort
  • Physiotherapy has shown to be very effective if you suffered a whiplash injury

Some people find that wearing a foam collar helps them, but these must not be worn for long periods because over time, the muscles in your neck would lose strength which could end up causing a slower whiplash recovery time.

What is the Recovery Time for Whiplash?

Whiplash recovery time depends on the severity of your injury. You may find that you are back to normal within a few days. However, you may find that your whiplash injury takes a lot longer to heal. As soon as any acute symptoms have dissipated, the best way to speed up whiplash recovery time is to undergo physiotherapy with the end goal being to strengthen the muscles in your neck. Gentle neck exercises also helps speed up recovery but you should never go too fast and always follow a doctor’s or physiotherapist’s recommendations when it comes to neck exercises following a whiplash injury, too much too soon can make things worse.

You should only start doing normal day to day activities which includes any sports you play if you can do the following:

  • You can look over your shoulders without experiencing any pain, discomfort or stiffness in your neck
  • You should be able to rock your head forwards and backwards without experiencing any stiffness, discomfort or pain
  • You should be able to rock your head from side to side without experiencing any discomfort, pain or stiffness in your neck

If you rush things and start doing strenuous exercise before a whiplash injury is fully healed, you could end up doing more permanent damage and you could end up with chronic whiplash neck pain. Taking things one step at time is the best and surest way to get your life back on track if you suffered whiplash whether in a road traffic accident or if you were involved in some other type of incident that left you with a mild to more severe neck injury.

If you sustained a whiplash injury and are not happy with the outcome of your whiplash diagnosis, treatment or aftercare, you could be entitled to free private treatment in your area. You may also qualify for free private physiotherapy whiplash aftercare which would ensure you get back to normal sooner and safer than if you rely on NHS treatment and aftercare alone.

Whiplash Statistics

The statistics graph below is a good indication of the rise in personal injury claims over recent years, many of which were filed by people who suffered whiplash whether it was mild or more severe injury to their necks.

Are There Any Complications with Whiplash?

Some people experience long-term complications having sustained a whiplash injury to their necks. With this said, whiplash recovery time usually takes anything from several days to several weeks depending on the severity of an injury. In some cases, it can take months to recovery from whiplash.

The long-term effects of whiplash can last for anything up to six months and sometimes even longer which is referred to as “chronic whiplash” or “late whiplash syndrome”. Receiving private treatment means you would see a specialist who would recommend the best whiplash treatment to suit your symptoms, bearing in mind that chronic whiplash can also lead to you suffering from depression and/or anxiety.

To find out whether you would qualify for free private whiplash treatment and free private physiotherapy aftercare for whiplash in your area, please call us today, it only takes a few minutes to get a reply.

Are There Any Long Term Effects Associated with Whiplash?

Most people who suffered whiplash feel much better in around a few week. However, some people experience pain for several months or years following an accident that left them with a severed neck injury.

Long-term chronic pain could include the following symptoms if you suffered whiplash:

  • Severe neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Pain in your arms
  • Low back and neck pain

If you sustained whiplash in an accident and are experiencing any of the symptoms above after several weeks of taking things easy, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are unhappy with the NHS treatment you received, call us today to find out if you qualify for free private whiplash treatment and physiotherapy in your area. It take minutes to find out the sort of treatment you could be entitled to receive at a local private medical facility free of charge.

Could I Qualify for Free Whiplash Treatment and Physiotherapy?

Many people do not realise they could be entitled to free private whiplash treatment and free private physiotherapy aftercare having suffered whiplash whether in a car accident or some other incident that left them with a neck injury. NHS whiplash treatment is effective but is never as good as the free private medical care you may be entitled to receive.

If you suffered whiplash and would like to know more about free specialist treatment options in your area and to see if you qualify to receive the necessary free private physiotherapy whiplash aftercare during the healing process, please get in touch today.

Call Us to Find Out if You Qualify for Free Whiplash Treatment in Your Area

Get in touch today and one of our health experts can let you know in minutes whether you qualify for free private whiplash treatment and free private physiotherapy aftercare in your area. Call us on 020 3870 4868. One of our health experts will get back to you without delay.

Helpful Links

If you would like to know more about how physiotherapy can speed up your whiplash recovery time, please follow the link below;

How physiotherapy for whiplash can help get you back to normal safely faster

To find out more about whiplash treatment, the following link provides essential reading:

More about whiplash treatment

If you would like more information on how whiplash is diagnosed, the following link provides useful information on this type of neck injury:

How whiplash is diagnosed