What is Whiplash?

Whiplash describes the variety of symptoms that are often reported following an acceleration/deceleration injury to the neck, which is most commonly in the form of a road traffic accident.

What are the symptoms?

Whiplash is a much more complex condition than “just neck pain”. There are often associated symptoms such as neck stiffness, dizziness, numbness as well as headaches. Depending on the nature of the accident there can be additional manifestations of psychological distress. If not resolved, this can have significant impact on quality of life and function.

Do I need to see a Physiotherapist?

Following whiplash, most recovery occurs in the first 2-3 months and this means that guidance from the physiotherapist during this the early stage management may be critical for better long-term outcome.

What is the treatment for Whiplash?

A detailed history often gives an indication of what needs to be examined as well as the prognosis. Physical examination of the neck and surrounding areas will be performed, along with any specific tests for the muscle, neural, visual and balance systems as indicated.

The management of whiplash varies depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. Physiotherapy treatment would include advice/ guidance to facilitate return to usual activity and therapeutic exercise. There is also a role for manual techniques as part of an individualised treatment approach.

Sterling M (2014) Physiotherapy management of whiplash-associated disorders. Journal of Physiotherapy. 60(1):5-12

Jennie Wong - Brisbane Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist

If you are have a whiplash injury, request an appointment with Jennie Wong for an assessment.

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