Whiplash is a neck injury category which can be extremely painful — most commonly occurring from unanticipated forces such as falling, car crashes, or a poor experience in a theme park.
Now, while whiplash usually occurs in the neck, but can affect your back as well
When your body is suddenly jolted or whipped your muscles tend to seize up to protect your spine. Your spine can also be irritated from the accident as well causing pain.
Symptoms to Watch For:
- Usually people will feel significant tension and have pain with movement in either all directions or just certain directions.
- Some people will feel they cannot move their neck/head at all due to their muscles being so tight.
- Often times people become scared to move their heads due to the pain, but lack of movement only will make whiplash worse.
- Sometimes people get tension headaches or numbness or tingling down their arms.
Things to Consider:
- If you have whiplash from a traumatic event make sure you go to the doctor to be cleared of concussions, fractures or other dangerous injuries.
- Once cleared, it is highly recommended to go to see a Physical Therapist to be safely guided through exercises and stretches.
It is important to remind yourself that our bones and muscles love to move so lack of movement will only make thing worse. If you have no “red-flags” then try to move your head/neck in small tolerable ranges in all directions. Try practicing deep breathing to concentrate on relaxing your tense muscles and always breathe with movement and stretching as well.
Remember to keep your shoulders loose as well by stretching your chest and moving your arms in all directions that are tolerable. If you feel improvements with trying these suggestions then PT will be beneficial for you. If you are hesitant to try these exercises, consider having a Physical Therapist evaluate you so they can safely assist you.