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Whiplash And Headaches

Neck muscles which are affected by whiplash

Whiplash is a common injury resulting from accidents, in particular being struck from behind while in a car. The flexing of the neck often leads to injury of the sternocleidomastoids (the large muscles down the front of the neck) and the longus colli (the muscle in front of the spine that turns and bends the head). Headaches, especially in the back of the head, are a common result of whiplash.

Since whiplash usually only causes damage to the soft tissues in the neck, most treatments are centered around reducing the inflammation and supporting the neck muscles during the healing process. The treating healthcare provider may take X-rays or perform an MRI of the neck to check for other injuries or spinal problems. Headaches resulting from whiplash are usually treated by efforts to reduce the swelling in the neck using ice packs and other conservative measures.

Neck muscles which are affected by whiplash

Range of motion exercises (as directed by a qualified physical therapist) can also be beneficial in treating headaches resulting from whiplash. The therapist may also add ultrasound therapy such as our home therapeutic ultrasound system to the conservative treatment regimen. Ultrasound has been shown to enhance healing in a variety of ways such as softening damaged tissue (which reduces strain), producing a pain-killing effect, increasing blood flow to damaged muscle, and increasing range of motion in tendon tissue.

Reducing the strain on the neck muscles is important in obtaining relief from headaches caused by whiplash. As the muscles relax, there will be less tension on the nerve endings in the cervical spine--and that helps reduce the pain.

 

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