Chinook Rehab, located on Macleod Trail in SW Calgary, offers a variety of options for your whiplash treatment.
A Whiplash injury is due to the forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, but can also result from a sports accident, or other trauma.
At Chinook Rehab Centre, diagnosis of your whiplash begins with a thorough history of your condition and any vehchile accidents involoved. We may first ask you to fill out a questionnaire describing your injury.
Your physiotherapist will then ask you questions to find out when you first started having problems, what makes your symptoms better or worse, and how the symptoms affect your daily activity. The information that you provide us with will help guide the physical examination.
Your physiotherapist will then physically examine the muscles and joints of your neck. It is important for us to see how your neck is aligned, how it moves, and exactly where it hurts.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF WHIPLASH?
- Neck pain or neck pain that travels down the arm (radiculopathy)
- Low back pain (LBP)
- Jaw Pain
Most patients involved in whiplash type accidents complain of neck pain. This is by far the most common symptom. The pain often spreads into the upper back, between the shoulder blades, or down the arm.
Other symptoms often reported include
- Shoulder Pain
- Numbness or Tingling in the Arms, Hands, Legs or Feet
- Facial Pain
- Poor Concentration
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Visual Problems
- Mood Disorders
It is not uncommon to have a delay in your symptoms. It is actually more common to have a delay as it takes the body 24-74 hours to develop inflammation. Disc injuries may take even longer to manifest themselves. It is not uncommon for a disc injury to remain pain free and unnoticed for weeks to months.
Simply because there is little or no damage to your vehicle does not mean that you were not injured. In fact, more than half of all whiplash injuries occur where there was little or no damage to one or both vehicles involved.
NECK INJURY TREATMENT OPTIONS
Whenever possible, treatments other than surgery are preferable. The first goal of these nonsurgical treatments is to ease your pain and other symptoms.
At Chinook Rehab Centre, our physiotherapists will work with you to improve your movement and strength.
We will also encourage healthy body alignment and posture. Conservative care may include immobilization and other physiotherapy applications. These steps are designed to enable you to get back to your normal activities.
At first, your physiotherapist may prescribe immobilization of the neck. Keeping the neck still for a short time can calm inflammation and pain. This might include one to two days of bed rest and the use of a soft cervical (neck) collar.
The collar is a padded ring that wraps around the neck and is held in place by a Velcro strap. A soft cervical collar is generally used for the first 24 to 48 hours after neck injury to help provide support and reduce pain. There is usually no need for a hard or rigid cervical collar unless the neck is fractured.
Soft collars should not be worn for more than 48 hours without a health care provider’s approval. Studies show that prolonged immobilization can delay healing and promote disability. Wearing it longer tends to weaken the neck muscles and reduces the facet joints’ sense of position (proprioception).
Our physiotherapist may also recommend a cervical support pillow for additional support while sleeping. This type of pillow helps to keep the neck in a more neutral position. Cervical pillows can be used any time by anyone for improved alignment while sleeping.
HOW LONG WILL MY RECOVERY TAKE?
Your rate of recovery helps determine the length of time you will be in physiotherapy. Although recovery time is different for everyone many whiplash patients only need to attend therapy sessions for 2-4 weeks.
Patients with delayed recovery may need longer time in rehab.
Please note: Our website is for information purposes only. Please do not self diagnose or attempt to treat yourself with information found on this website. Any treatments we may suggest should always be preformed by a qualified Practitioner.