Causes of Whiplash Injuries

By Ehren Allen, PT

Whiplash Injuries

What are the Causes of Whiplash Injuries?

The quick answer is that Whiplash injuries usually occur from:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Fall on stairs
  • Contact Sports like Football, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, boxing, rugby, soccer etc.

To learn more about the anatomy of the neck or cervical region, please watch this VIDEO.

Imaging For Neck or Cervical Whiplash Injuries

X-ray or MRI can be performed after a whiplash injury to rule out fractures, ligament, muscle and tendon damage.

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash:

JOI Whiplash Injury

JOI Presents the Causes of Whiplash Injuries

  • Muscle guarding and spasm
  • Generalized non-specific pain
  • Vague visual, hearing, and swallowing
  • Fatigue

It is important to be evaluated properly by a physician after a whiplash injury. In addition, it’s important to rule out any fractures or instability of the neck or cervical region. Your physician could send you for further evaluation and treatment in physical therapy.

Whiplash Injury Anatomy

Neck and Cervical Anatomy

Physical Therapy for Whiplash Injuries:

JOI Rehab has specially trained spine therapists who can help you with whiplash injuries. Our clinicians work closely with our Orthopedic Spine Physicians to develop treatment protocols. JOI physical therapists may perform further tests to evaluate your injury and treatment. These include:

  • Alar odontoid integrity test
  • Cruciate ligament test

These tests should be performed to rule out damage to important cervical structure.

Physical Therapy Treatment for Whiplash:

PT will focus on decreasing muscle guarding with soft tissue massage and other manual therapy techniques. Pain modalities which include; TENS, moist hot pack or cold pack, mechanical traction, US can be used to help patient alleviate pain and improve ROM. The therapist will focus on cervical range of motion and mobility to establish normal range of motion during functional tasks. Strength training of the deep neck flexors and scapular stabilizers will help establish stability and control of the neck motions after whiplash injury. The therapist should also assess thoracic mobility after whiplash injury because this can be an area that gets stiff and tight after. Additionally, Medical Massage Therapy like that seen in this VIDEO can help whiplash injury recovery.

JOI Fracture and Acute Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904) JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. Also, to learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

Ehren Alllen is a physical therapist and medical content writer for JOI

Ehren Allen, DPT, COMT

If you need to schedule an appointment with a Neck Orthopaedic Specialist, please call JOI-2000, schedule online or click the link below.

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