Whiplash & Headaches
This is a high speed / force injury which forces the head/neck forwards and backwards beyond its normal limits, can cause tears of the ligaments, blood vessels, muscles and nerves, (all referred to as soft tissue) and may involve bone fracture which will be confirmed or eliminated by x-ray. The extent of damage often corresponds to the force of impact.
Rehabilitation is initially to control inflammation, muscle spasm and pain, then return of movement and nerve mobility and finally return to full function. It is important to continue with home exercises longterm to ensure there are no recurring problems in the future.
The main difference between whiplash and neck back pain is that whiplash happens under high speed and the course of recovery is not linear.
Physiotheraphy has a role to play in the treatment of headaches, if it is of cervicogenic (i.e. neck or muscular tension) origin. Often headaches are linked to stiff facet joints in the upper neck, secondary to poor posture, work stations and injury.
These underlining issues must be addressed in order to ensure long term improvement.