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3 Ways To Treat Whiplash Effectively

Whiplash injuries occur when your head is suddenly thrust forwards and backwards, or vice versa. The most common causes of whiplash injuries are rear-end motor vehicle collisions, yet they can be sustained in many other ways, such as bungee jumping, contact sports and falls.


According to State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), whiplash injuries account for more than 30% of the number of CTP insurance claims. If you’re suffering from neck pain following a whiplash injury, this article will show you how to relieve your symptoms and accelerate recovery.



Whiplash Symptoms


Aside from neck pain, whiplash injuries often lead to other symptoms:


· Shoulder and back pain

· Pins and needles in one or both arms

· Pins and needles in your face

· TMJ (Temporo-mandibular joint) pain

· Dizziness

· Tinnitus

· Headache

· Tiredness

· Nausea/vomiting


What causes neck pain?


It’s unclear as to which tissues are responsible for causing the neck pain associated with whiplash injuries. Most probably a range of structures, such as spinal nerves, ligaments, discs and muscles, were overstretched or compressed due to the violent flexion-extension force your neck sustained.


Diagnosis


Your physician will perform various physical examinations to rule out serious neurological damage or a fractured bone. If necessary, you’ll be referred for further investigations, such as an X-ray, a CT scan or an MRI scan. If no serious damage is detected, yet you’re experiencing pain or any other symptoms, there are several effective treatment options available.


3 effective ways to treat whiplash without medication


While less serious injuries may heal without any medical intervention, moderate to severe injuries should be treated as soon as possible, to prevent delayed recovery and long-term consequences. To reduce reliance on medication, try the following treatment modalities, which have been shown to be effective in the management of whiplash injuries.


Acupuncture for the treatment of whiplash

Acupuncture reduces inflammation and accelerates recovery of damaged tissues. Research published in Muscles, Ligament and Tendons Journal, shows that acupuncture therapy is an effective treatment option for whiplash injuries, and that in some cases it may be more effective than other non-invasive approaches.


Physical therapy

Cervical muscle conditional is a crucial aspect of rehabilitation from traumatic neck injuries, including whiplash. Your physical therapist may also recommend you use a neck collar.


Osteopathic manipulative therapy

Osteopaths focus on improving spinal mobility, increasing blood flow, reducing pain and encouraging tissue recovery. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrated that 5 osteopathic treatment sessions over a period of 5 weeks, had a beneficial effect on patients with whiplash-related neck pain.



Whichever mode you choose, taking care of your overall health is especially important. A 2013 study showed that poor overall health and high levels of anxiety increase the risk of developing chronic symptoms from whiplash-induced injuries.


 

Sources


1. https://www.sira.nsw.gov.au/for-service-providers/treatment-advice-centre/acute-whiplash

2. Elliott J, Pedler A, Jull G, Van Wyk L, Galloway G, O'Leary S (2013). “Differential Changes in Muscle Composition Exist in Traumatic and Non-Traumatic Neck Pain”. Spine.

3. Conforti M, Fachinetti GP (2013). “High power laser therapy treatment compared to simple segmental physical rehabilitation in whiplash injuries (1° and 2° grade of the Quebec Task Force classification) involving muscles and ligaments”. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 3 (2):106-11.

4. Schwerla F, Kaiser AK, Gietz R, Kastner R (2013). “Osteopathic treatment of patients with long-term sequelae of whiplash injury: effect on neck pain disability and quality of life”. J Altern Complement Med 19 (6):543-9.

5. Myrtveit SM, Wilhelmsen I, Petrie KJ, Skogen JC, Sivertsen B. What characterizes individuals developing chronic whiplash?: The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT). J Psychosom Res. 2013 May;74(5):393-400. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.02.004. Epub 2013 Mar 13. PMID: 23597326.




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