Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) or ‘Cervical Acceleration-Deceleration’ describes the mechanism of injury of the neck during a high velocity trauma. This happens when someone’s head moves forwards and then backwards quickly. This quick back and forth movement may cause injury to the neck. This is most commonly seen in car accidents but is also a feature of high impact sports such as Rugby or American Football. For more information click here.
Not every whiplash is the same and recovery times can differ. Based on the most up to date evidence base that we have from the department of Whiplash in Queensland University, it is widely accepted that most whiplash patients fall into three categories.
Category 1: Settle within 12-18 month with interventions
Category 2: Settle within 1-3 years with interventions
Category 3: Have ongoing symptoms to a greater or lesser extent and need ongoing interventions.
If you have been unlucky enough to be involved in such an incident you may be suffering from basic neck pain and/or headaches to limited movement or even tingling or numbness into your head or arm. So what should/can I do?
1. Get an assessment from your Chartered Physiotherapist, GP or other medical practitioner as soon as possible.
2. Use heat and analgesics (painkillers) for pain relief
3. Avoid the use of collars and begin light movements or consider an active class such as the Better Neck Programme at PhysioCare.
4. To the best of your ability – continue with your normal daily routines and if possible stay at work.
The Better Neck Programme is a rehabilitation class for people who suffer from traumatic or chronic (long-standing) neck issues.
• It is led by a Chartered Physiotherapist who focuses in the treatment of these injuries.
• Evidence shows that active rehabilitation improves recovery in Whiplash Associated Disorders.
• Small and comfortable class sizes with people who are in the same boat
• Learn how to pro-actively manage the problem.