Whiplash is one of, if not the most common injury associated with car accidents. Even the most minor fender bender can provide enough force to cause whiplash. Whiplash is generally treated with conservative methods like physical therapy and bracing, with surgery being reserved for when these methods fail. Here are a handful of physical therapy exercises you can use to improve your quality of life and decrease pain after sustaining a whiplash injury.
Whiplash is defined as an injury of the neck caused by excessive acceleration and deceleration – which commonly happens when a car hits another car. This force often results in the muscles, ligaments, and joints in the neck to become strained or displaced.
Stand or sit with your back and neck as straight as possible. Face forward and tuck your chin back into your neck until you feel the muscles stretching. Be careful not to stretch any more than feels comfortable. Hold this position for five seconds, then release.
Again, begin by sitting or standing with your back as straight as possible and your eyes facing forward. Slowly move your head to the right until your chin is aligned with your shoulder. Return to the starting position and do the same motion on the left side.
Stand straight up. Raise your arms so that they form a 90 degree angle where your elbow bends. Then move your arms back, pushing your shoulder blades together. Hold for five counts and release. You can also do this exercise by placing your hands against a wall.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations