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Whiplash from Trucks OR Guys Named ‘Mack’

Last week we looked at the role that the change to or from daylight savings time plays in our traffic accident rate. For a variety of reasons, the switch back to standard time seems to correlate with an increase in fatal or injury-causing car accidents. If you’ve been involved in a recent motor vehicle accident where you were hit from behind, you may be suffering from whiplash.

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You may be surprised to learn whiplash is also a fairly common injury from football and hockey. With hockey season having recently started up again, you should be aware of the potential for whiplash on the ice, and not just on the way to the rink.

Whiplash is classified as a cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) injury. While rear-end or side-impact motor vehicle collisions are the primary cause of whiplash, being hit from behind while playing hockey, or being tackled during a football game can also cause whiplash injuries.

Symptoms such as neck pain may be present directly after the injury or may be delayed for several days. In addition to neck pain, other symptoms may include neck stiffness, injuries to the muscles and ligaments (myofascial injuries), headache, dizziness, abnormal sensations such as burning or prickling (paresthesias), or shoulder or back pain. In addition, some people experience cognitive, somatic, or psychological conditions such as memory loss, concentration impairment, nervousness/irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue, or depression. (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/whiplash/whiplash.htm)

There are a variety of treatment modalities for whiplash, which include NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), pain medications, heat application, and muscle relaxants. The best non-pharmaceutical treatments for whiplash, however, may be physiotherapy and massage.

As with other types of soft tissue injury, massage can help ease the pain and speed the recovery of whiplash injuries by breaking down scar tissue, improving blood flow, and promoting better movement and lubrication of the fascia. The more blood and oxygen that can reach an area affected by injury, the less pain there will be, and the faster it will heal.

Massage therapy also provides a relaxing experience that may help to reduce stress levels and the corresponding inflammatory hormones like cortisol, which can impede injury recovery.

So, if you are injured in an accident either in the car on the way to the rink or while playing on it, contact BodyMend today. Email us at info@bodymend.ca to make an appointment.

If you missed our article on daylight savings time and accidents, catch it here: