Refers to the injury which results from the head changing direction after moving with high speed in one direction. More commonly this will be a change from forward to backward as may result from a car accident, however it can equally occur with shifts from side to side if the impact of the accident is a side impact rather than head-on. The extreme forces involved in the sudden change in direction result in damage to both the passive and active stabilisers of the neck including ligaments, muscles, tendons and in extreme cases may include damage to the bones also.

Self Management

  • It is not uncommon for the pain to develop overnight or once the adrenalin rush of the accident has waned, so if you are involved in an accident take precautions and utilise ice to reduce the inflammation and damage
  • Try to keep your head moving through the range that does not aggravate the symptoms
  • In the event you feel pain in the arms, or pins and needles or weakness in the arms you should see your GP as further investigations may be required and prescription medications may aid your rate of recovery.

Physio Management

  • Ensure the pain and inflammation are kept to a minimum
  • Begin early mobilisation to minimise any long-term symptoms
  • Commence appropriate exercises to facilitate return to your pre-injury activities