Whiplash is an injury during which the head and neck has been jerked in a sudden and quick movement. This injury commonly happens during an accident. This strains the soft tissues in your neck and results in pain and sensitivity around the neck, shoulder and back.
You may experience neck pain and stiffness, sometimes with pain going into your arms. Some patients can also experience numbness and weakness in their arms after the accident.
It is important to note that although pain severity may be high after the accident, it may not necessarily meant there has been severe damage to your neck. A lot of the initial pain is from inflammation that occurs after a soft tissue injury to your muscles during the accident. Majority of neck strains during low velocity road traffic accidents do not results in serious injuries.
What are the signs and symptoms that I need to be concerned with? In some situations, whiplash injuries are serious and result in permanent damage and disability. These need to be seen at Accident & Emergency as soon as they are detected.
What are the advice and tips that I should follow?
There is no best resting/sleep posture. The key is to avoid prolong stationary postures and to select the posture that you feel most comfortable in. Even the most comfortable posture doesn’t allow you to remain in the same position the whole time.
Trying to maintain a normal life and staying active are very important in your road to recovery. In fact, consciously avoiding activity can cause your recovery to be slower than expected.
Doing exercise is important for your recovery.
It is important to place more focus on improvements in your ability to cope with daily and/or work functions rather than your symptoms.
Can I ever get better?
Aches and pain are part of the body’s normal response to stress and trauma and each person responds differently. 40-50% of cases have complete recovery after 12 weeks while most people can continue to perform their daily activities and work requirements even though they experience aches and pain that could take weeks to months to subside.