It’s winter (and didn’t we know it earlier last month!). Here at Physiolink it’s the season when we see more whiplash injuries than any other. Why? A slide and tumble on the ice, especially one that is particularly spectacular can result in whiplash injury just as easily as a bump in the car. So for those who have taken a fall and developed whiplash symptoms, there is no need to despair. The misconception that a whiplash injury will produce pain that you are stuck with for life is unfounded (only one in five cases will produce very severe pain). This misconception is largely due to the large number of fraudulent compensation claims by folk in whom recovery is not useful. Criminal gangs are also known to deliberately crash a car in order to make a claim. Fortunately the government is currently attempting to reduce whiplash claims (1500 per day) in order to limit meteoric rises in insurance premiums.
This is not however intended to make completely light of it. The first days following a whiplash type injury can be pretty miserable. The key is to not be frightened by it, and to take on board that it will get better. The soft tissues will be bruised and therefore will need time to settle and recover so patience is required. During this time there will not be any quick fix, but early physiotherapy intervention is recommended by experts. On a case by case basis, physiotherapists provide advice on basic exercises, the amount of rest versus activity required, optimal posture at work, daily activities and for sleeping, and other strategies to help reduce pain. Later on, rehab strategies can be instigated to restore previously painful movement.
However, the best advice of course is prevention, so make sure you have a really good grip on your walking shoes whenever ice threatens. Meanwhile, roll on Spring!