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Whiplash Injury After Car Accident (ICBC)

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Whiplash Injury After Car Accident (ICBC)

Whiplash Injury After Car Accident (ICBC)

The most common type of injuries we see after a motor vehicle accident are soft tissue injuries, commonly known as “whiplash” injuries. This term simply describes the mechanism of the typical car crash injury, namely a sudden forwards and backwards jerking of the neck, back and shoulders (flexion and extension) caused by the sudden impact of a collision. It may be a forwards and backwards motion, or sideways, depending upon the angle and force of the impact. The effect of these forces on the body is to stretch the muscle fibres and tendons beyond their normal capacity, leading to tissue damage.

Most people will experience the effects of a whiplash injury as pain, stiffness and restriction of movement. These symptoms can last from a few days many months and in extreme cases may lead to permanent symptoms.

Most General Physician recognise the need for prompt intervention and will refer the patient either to a physiotherapist or chiropractor, depending upon the specific nature of the injury and the GP’s own preference. This will often follow on from x-rays, to make sure that there is no underlying bony damage.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Symptoms of whiplash may not present themselves immediately after the accident, and can take a few hours or days to appear. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include:

Neck pain and stiffness.

Headaches, especially at the base of the skull.

Shoulder pain and stiffness.

Reduced range of motion in the neck.

Dizziness or vertigo.


Numbness or tingling in the arms.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms after a car accident, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Physiotherapy treatment usually follows a pattern as follows:

an initial assessment to establish the nature and extent of the injuries.

manual (passive) therapy, involving massage of the affected areas, sometimes also involving dry-needling.

a progression towards a gym-based, supervised exercise program (under the control of the treating specialist).

possibly an introduction to hydrotherapy (pool-based exercises).

eventually self-managed exercises carried out by the patient at the direction of the treating specialist.

We’ll provide you with information and advice to help you better understand your injury, and teach you how to avoid aggravating your symptoms.

The following are just a few of the benefits of seeing our physio at Vigor Physiotherapy:

As professionals, our physical therapists will be able to give you a diagnosis, prognosis, and personalized treatment plan.

Our physio will provide you with rehabilitation exercises and advice on coping mechanisms.

Physiotherapists can also screen for potential chronic musculoskeletal pain early in the process and treat it appropriately.

Physical therapists can help with advice on an exercise routine, hydration, and other modification of lifestyle factors. Physios can also play an essential role in screening and referring patients for professional dietary services to help with their road to recovery.

Physio can provide enhanced care with post-treatment workouts that you can do at home or in a gym to help continue with your post-rehabilitation in the community.