Treating Whiplash with Massage
In the previous article, we took a look at the various aspects of a car accident that could determine the severity of injuries sustained. In this article we’ll take a closer look at whiplash injuries as a result of a car accident.
Whiplash is a term used to describe a neck injury, in which the neck is thrown forward with great force and then whipped back, causing a sudden lengthening and then contraction of the neck muscles. This type of injury can lead to chronic pain and wreak havoc on one’s life if ignored and left untreated.
Within the first 48 hours of an auto collision, the body’s inflammatory response will kick in, resulting in swelling, pain and stiffness. Headaches and dizziness can also be accompanied with a whiplash injury. Damage to the soft tissues of the neck (muscles, tendons, ligaments) is likely, as well as possible injury to the cervical spine if the impact was severe enough. Over time, if left untreated, pain and stiffness might be experienced in the upper back, extending all the way down to the sacrum. Numbness and tingling in the arms and fingers can also be a result of untreated whiplash injuries.
Massage therapy, when applied in whiplash situations, can help accelerate the healing process and reduce long-term discomfort and pain. Massage can encourage oxygen and nutrient flow to the damaged soft tissue to promote healing. Additionally, when neuromuscular therapy techniques such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy are used, massage can address the pain-spasm-pain cycle that begins with this kind of injury.
If you, or someone you know has been in an auto accident recently, and require treatment for your injuries, check out the third article in this series: Medical Massage for Auto Injuries.
Other Articles in the Auto Accidents: Injuries and Treatment series:
Injuries: Beyond Initial Impact of a Car Accident (Part 1)
Medical Massage for Injuries (Part 3)