Whiplash Treatment Brisbane

Written by Roger Morelli, Myotherapist

Are you looking for Whiplash Treatment in Brisbane? A Whiplash injury [also known as Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) or neck sprain  occurs when the head rapidly accelerates and stops.  This exposes the neck to a pendulum effect from the weight of the head – greatly magnifying recoil.

As the name suggests, the neck jolts whip like – causing the hard and soft tissues (bones, ligaments, discs, muscles, nerves and blood-vessels) to overstretch and or compress. 

Ligaments are especially vulnerable to permanent damage following whiplash, as once overstretched they can’t be re-tensioned – resulting in a loss of stability.  Signs and symptoms of whiplash may be obvious immediately or over the course of a few days.  A Myotherapist is an excellent clinician to assess the signs and symptoms of whiplash as well as provide Whiplash treatment.

What Causes Whiplash?

Common causes of Whiplash include: car accidents, sporting incidents and episodes of violence – but whiplash can also occur performing activities of daily life such as banging your head on a shelf while cleaning or slipping on wet tiles.  Other common causes include bungy jumping and roller-coasters.

WAD can occur in a 360 degree arc – in severe car accidents it often occurs in many directions.

The severity of a Whiplash is measured in 4 grades – Grade 1 being the least severe.

The severity of the impact/deceleration of a Whiplash is directly proportional to the grade.  People with less muscle density in the neck and shoulders – are more adversely affected.

Statistically females report worse long-term outcomes from Whiplash.

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash?

Signs and symptoms of whiplash can surface immediately following a rapid deceleration injury, or may gradually occur over a few days:

  • Neck Pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Hoarseness and difficulty swallowing and/or chewing
  • Numbness or pain in Shoulder, back or arm pain
  • Altered sensation
  • Weakness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Hearing difficulties 

Signs and symptoms of whiplash can vary between people. The most commonly reported symptom is neck pain and stiffness.

How is Whiplash Diagnosed?

As discussed previously, whiplash may affect a number of structures in the neck and shoulders.  A Myotherapist (Link) will establish if you have whiplash symptoms – severe whiplash may require radiological scans such as ultrasound, mri and CT to establish the extent of the injuries.

Red Flags

Most signs and symptoms of whiplash injuries are relatively benign – but there are some symptoms that indicate hospitalisation is necessary after a whiplash injury:

  • Incontinence or bowel problems
  • fainting 
  • numbness in the face
  • pins and needles on both side of the body
  • increasing weakness
  • distortion of sensations
  • difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • difficulties walking

Whiplash Treatment Brisbane

Best practice care for whiplash treatment and rehabilitation will involve movement retraining and strengthening.  Your Myotherapist has many techniques to assist with the immediate pain and discomfort you are suffering.  Supervised movement therapy will ensure that the injury has a smaller impact on your life and minimise adaptive patterns which become “locked in” as your new way of moving long after the injury has passed.  Chronic pain from whiplash is not uncommon in individuals who have not had appropriate whiplash treatment.

Myotherapy whiplash treatment will include:

  • Education – empowers you by removing the fear associated with neck pain caused by Whiplash – a well-rehabilitated Whiplash will recover without side effects– regardless of gender.
  • Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) – to reduce neck pain caused by whiplash and rapidly improve the healing responses of damaged tissues – The world health organisation has recommended LLLT as part of a best practice protocol for whiplash treatment and to deal with spinal irritation and neck pain.
  • Movement retraining.
  • Strengthening exercises to take away your neck pain and provide stability to compensate for irritable ligaments.
  • Whiplash treatment includes manual techniques such as joint mobilisations to reduce pain and improve range of motion.
  • Dry needling for pain relief and to improve movement.

Myotherapy

Most whiplash patients will start to feel better within a few weeks of the injury. Your Myotherapist will:

  • Empower you to perform everyday activities and lifting.
  • Minimise future neck pain and disability – stop chronic pain from whiplash.
  • Calm muscular spasm and improve movement “feel”.
  • Calm down the nerves and nervous system. 
  • Reduce neck, shoulder and upper back pain, headaches and inflammation.
  • Gradually normalise range of motion in the neck.
  • Strengthen your neck and upper back muscles.
  • Improve your posture and avoid adaptive patterns.
  • Improve motor control and movement

Will it get better?

Absolutely. However – most whiplash symptoms require several weeks to resolve.

Research suggests that most sufferers of whiplash recover with actively guided Whiplash treatment approach. 

References

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Whiplash

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/treating-neck-pain-with-a-dose-of-exercise-201112123928

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-06-30/whiplash-pilot-study-offering-psychological-help-shows-promise/9926112

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/new-whiplash-treatment-could-change-lives/9907776

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=DetailsSearch&Term=18204386%5Buid%5D

This paper also recommends LLLT above many other modalities including anti-inflammatories

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=28192789

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20704667

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15389743

http://medlouxx.com/Internet%20medlouxx%20de/files/downloads/R%20CHOW%20et%20al%20Pain%202006.pdf

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/CommonPainProblems/story?id=4047870

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=DetailsSearch&Term=18204386%5Buid%5D

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=28192789

Effects of Neck-Specific Exercises Compared to Waiting List for Individuals With Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders: A Prospective, Randomized Controlled Study

Anneli Peolsson, Maria Landén Ludvigsson, Ann-Marie Tigerfors, Gunnel Peterson

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

February 2016, Vol.97(2):189–195, doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2015.10.087

Original research

http://arrow.latrobe.edu.au:8080/vital/access/manager/Repository/latrobe:17252

 

Roger Morelli
Roger Morelli is a Myotherapist at Knead Massage in Brisbane CBD. He loves helping clients improve their quality of life with effective Myotherapy and corrective exercise treatments. He has a special interest in lower limb issues after experiencing a life changing car accident 20 years ago.
Roger Morelli
Roger Morelli

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