Whiplash is More Than Just a Pain in the Neck

Neck pain can arise from a variety of causes and,  in this digital age, one of the most common is what’s  referred to as ‘text neck’, a strain resulting from the weight of the head bending the cervical spine for extended periods of time.

Whiplash is a different type of pain, actually an injury that is technically a strain in the neck. 

What causes whiplash injuries

Whiplash most frequently arises from car accidents, often a sudden strike from behind although it can occur from side impacts.  Other potential causes may include roller-coasters, bungy jumping or a sports-related collision where a forceful impact (commonly from behind) causes the head and neck to snap forward and back in an abrupt, violent motion.

Whiplash symptoms

Symptoms and severity of whiplash can vary significantly between people. The most commonly reported symptom is neck pain or stiffness. This can occur anywhere from immediately after the injury to several days later.

Symptoms may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy / vertigo
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Low back Pain
  • Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
  • Difficulty remembering or concentrating
  • Irritability, sleep disturbance and fatigue

In more severe cases of whiplash there can also be nerve damage and fractures of various processes of the cervical vertebrae.

Most whiplash injuries heal within weeks, but if left untreated they can linger and turn into chronic conditions that last for years and lead to pain and sometimes disability.

How Massage Can Help reduce the symptoms

It is important than anyone involved in an accident is assessed by a physician because other injuries such as concussion or nerve root compression may occur as well.

Massage therapy can help lessen muscle pain, induce relaxation, and ease the trauma often associated with whiplash.  

Whiplash is traumatic and should be addressed soon after the injury to avoid any chronic problems. If you or someone you love is suffering from the repercussions of whiplash, consider a bodywork session to ease the discomfort.

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