Whiplash FAQ

What are the main symptoms of whiplash?

The main symptoms of whiplash are neck pain and stiffness. Other symptoms sometimes experienced are headaches, dizziness, pain around the jaw area (temporomandibular joint), pain referral into the arms and pins and needles/numbness.

How long will it take to recover from whiplash?

This will vary from person to person. Typically we expect symptoms to be resolved within 12 weeks; however people may take less or more time than this. There is no set timeframe, recovery rates will be influenced by many different factors. Your physiotherapist  will be able to provide you with guidance as to your expected recovery time.

How will my physio treat it?

Your physiotherapist will be able to prescribe appropriate range of motion and muscle re-education exercises to improve muscle and joint function. Other physiotherapy treatments that may be beneficial include joint mobilisation, dry needling and soft tissue releases. The use of passive modalities such as neck braces are not recommended as they have been shown to prolong and /or hinder recovery.

My physio and doctor have advised that I keep as active as possible and resume my regular daily activities following my whiplash injury. Won’t this make me worse? Surely if I’m in pain I should rest?

The current research has shown that those who keep active and resume normal activities have a better prognosis than those who don’t. In the early stages of your recovery, you may need to limit or adapt the way you do some tasks if they place extra stress on your neck. However it is important to gradually resume normal activity as your symptoms improve. As with any soft tissue injury, you will feel pain. This doesn’t mean that further damage is occurring. In fact there is a higher risk of developing secondary issues in relation to joint mobility and muscle function if you completely avoid all activity.

Early intervention and advice is key in managing your whiplash and associated symptoms. To book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists or for further information call us on 9251 0822.

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