Physical Therapy for Whiplash in Monmouth & Ocean County

The term ‘whiplash’ is used to describe a set of symptoms following injury to the soft tissues of the neck. It is popularly associated with auto accidents and sports injuries, but whiplash can be caused by any blow to the head that causes sudden movement of the neck that is not within the normal range.

Symptoms of whiplash include pain in the neck or along the back of the neck; muscle spasms; an inability to move the neck; swelling of the neck; headache; and pain that radiates from the neck down to the shoulders or arms. While symptoms may take time to develop following an injury, they may also present very quickly. The faster the onset of whiplash symptoms, the more serious the damage to the neck.

Whiplash has far-reaching consequences that can affect the health of the entire body for a significant amount of time. These might include the following long-term issues:

• Untreated whiplash can cause patients to experience neck pain for an extended period of time. This is known as chronic pain; it is a much more difficult condition to treat.

• Chronic pain from untreated whiplash may lead patients to the use of both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pain medications. Prescription painkillers are known for their addictive properties and can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. While OTC pain medications may seem innocuous, long-term use can result in gastrointestinal issues (ulcers, for example) and kidney damage.

• Whiplash can cause an abnormal curvature of the neck. The neck, when positioned optimally, comfortably supports the head and allows the spinal cord to remain soft to facilitate the flow of blood and nerves to the body. When the soft tissues of the neck are damaged and normal neck curvature is compromised, a host of health issues can result. Studies have even shown that abnormal neck curvature leads to shorter lifespan overall.

Physical Therapy for Whiplash

Physical therapy programs are designed to accomplish two main objectives: reduce pain and other symptoms while returning patients to maximum movement and flexibility. Physical therapists work closely with whiplash patients to restore proper function and movement to the damaged soft tissues of the neck.

Common physical therapy treatments for whiplash include cold and heat therapies, which improve circulation and reduce inflammation, respectively. Deep tissue massage works to correct the muscle tension that often occurs as a result of whiplash. Other physical therapy techniques include the use of ultrasound (to reduce muscle spasms, cramping, swelling, and pain) and low level laser therapy (which relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and speeds up the healing process).

Exercises are an important part of a physical therapy program for whiplash. Each whiplash patient is different; age, medical history, and other factors are extremely important considerations. With these in mind, physical therapists create individualized exercise programs to help patients develop strength and range of motion.

Whiplash Treatment at Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation

In addition to the physical therapy techniques described above, our Shrewsbury, Freehold, Wall, & Lacey NJ offices also offers spinal traction, PowerPlate technology, and a staff of extremely qualified and compassionate physical therapists.

As a fully equipped rehabilitation facility, we recommend a multi-disciplinary approach that includes chiropractic care for whiplash. Chiropractic treatment for whiplash at our Monmouth and Ocean County office can increase joint and postural movement and reduce pain and inflammation. It also corrects spinal misalignments (the abnormal neck curvature discussed above) to ensure the health of the entire nervous system.

Please contact our Shrewsbury, Freehold, Wall, or Lacey New Jersey offices for more information on treating whiplash or other neck pain symptoms.

Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation Shrewsbury
174 Patterson Ave
Shrewsbury, NJ 07702

Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation Wall
1985 NJ-34 Bldg A
Wall, NJ 07719

Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation Lacey
747 Lacey Rd
Forked River, NJ 08731

Monmouth Pain & Rehabilitation Freehold
20 Thoreau Dr
Freehold, NJ 07728