Whiplash is an acceleration – deceleration injury to the head and neck, often occurring during car accidents and also common in contact sports. Muscles and spinal vertebrae are the most effected region of the body injured during whiplash. Specific injured areas include upper spine thoracic and cervical vertebrae, and depending on the severity of impact, whiplash can affect the lower back and pelvic region as well. The injury has an impact on the structure of the vertebrae; where they connect and stack can lead to inflammation of the joints, articulation and ligaments, which are in charge of stabilization of the spine. Beside the structure of the spine, the muscles that are in charge of movement of our head and neck are involved in a whiplash injury as well. Due to the violent and unexpected front and back motion of the head and neck, most of the muscles in the front and back of the neck could produce muscle spasms and tightness.
Whiplash injuries are usually graded depending on the severity of the impact and direction of the hit, whether the impact results from a car accident or contact sport. Once the doctor has decided on the grade of the injury, the patient is referred to other professionals.
Massage therapy plays an important role in recovering from an injury like whiplash. Registered Massage Therapists have extensive training specifically for this type of injury, to help clients by reducing muscular pain, increasing range of motion and bringing the client to a higher level of awareness by improving the injury and preventing the injury t becoming chronic.