What to do with Whiplash

Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas Physical Therapist at AHS

Living in such a condensely populated area, most everyone who lives in the DC area has been in a car accident or been rear ended. Sometimes there is no injury to the parties involved but more often than not there is. The most common injury that occurs is what’s known as whiplash.  Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. This occurs most often with a sudden impact of being hit in a car because while our torso is secured our head and neck isn’t.

Symptoms of whiplash can vary from person to person based on the severity of the impact, which direction they were hit from and the position of their body when they were hit. Symptoms can include neck pain either on one side both sides or in the middle of the neck. There can be referred pain into the upper back and in between the shoulder blades. Sometimes there is pain down the arm and a feeling of heaviness as well. This is most likely due to nerve compression from a disc herniation. There can be headaches accompanying the pain if there is a high level of muscle tension or possibly concussion.

How can physical  therapy help? Physical therapy can help to restore movement, release muscular tightness, mobilize, stretch, improve posture, and encourage neural mobility. Depending on the severity of the whiplash, patients may not tolerate much manual treatment. It’s important to return muscles to there pre-injury level of functions for healthy spinal and neck support. Here at Allied Health Solutions we will give you the tools to make sure your spine and neck are in tact and prevent chronic pain from developing.


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