The symptoms associated with WAD can vary, and may include headaches, neck or arm pain, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, inability to concentrate, blurred vision, or a feeling that the head has to be supported (“heavy head syndrome”).
What should I do if I have recently been involved in a car accident?
If you have recently suffered a motor vehicle accident you will need to consult your local doctor for an initial examination and appropriate diagnostic testing. It is to be remembered that over 60% of all whiplash injuries will fully recover with time, appropriate treatment and management from a qualified health practitioner.
Do I need an X-ray?
Not necessarily. Often the damage caused by a whiplash injury will not show up on standard medical tests such as X-ray or CT scans. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your treating practitioner will make the appropriate recommendations regarding further diagnostic testing.
Stage 1: Inflammatory Stage (1 – 4 days)
- Rest by lying on your back on the bed rather than the couch.
- Neck rotations (6 – 10 every hour) can be performed in this position.
- Also include 6 – 10 repetitions of each of shoulder shrugs/circles and basic arm/shoulder range of motion exercises every hour. Consult your SSP Physiotherapist for exercise instructions.
- Consult your treating practitioner about advice regarding the application of heat and/or ice.
- Walking for 15-20 minute periods 2 -3 times each day in this phase is recommended.
- Refrain from sport of moderate intensity. NO CONTACT SPORT.
Stage 2: Gradual Return To Full Activity (3 – 6 weeks)
- This phase may extend 3 – 6 weeks post whiplash trauma.
- Consult your SSP Physiotherapist regarding the use of soft tissue, manipulation and specific neck and shoulder rehabilitation exercises.