The term whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents whereby there is initial hyperextension of the neck followed by rebound hyperflexion. The most common cause of this type of injury is the result of a rear end impact collision. Whiplash injuries are not exclusively related to car accidents, they can occur from any trauma that entails hyperextension followed by flexion of the neck.
The result of Whiplash injuries causes pain all around the neck and can radiate into the back, head, arms and chest. This is the result of all the musculature around the neck going into spasm. The soft tissues to the front and back of the neck would have been stretched and compressed causing injury to muscles, joints and ligaments throughout the spine. Whiplash injuries can also cause inability to raise your head off the pillow if you are lying on your back. It may also cause jaw tenderness and difficulty in swallowing. The effects of a Whiplash are usually vast as the whole body is disrupted. This can range from shock, concussion, dizziness, fatigue and poor concentration. Emotionally it can be very traumatic too.
The sooner Osteopathic treatment for whiplash is commenced, the quicker your recovery will be. Unresolved injuries can result in pain and disability for months or years to come.
As well as working on the neck itself, Osteopathic treatment for whiplash needs to focus on other areas of the spine too. Most importantly the upper back and thoracic cage would need to be treated, as this is a region usually traumatised from the seatbelt. Improving function and range of movement through the rest of the spine ribcage and pelvis can take away some of the strain placed on the neck, which is vulnerable at this point.