Massage Therapy and Whiplash

Massage for Whiplash Injuries

One of the most common, non-critical injuries sustained in a car crash is whiplash. Unfortunately, although not life threatening, whiplash can end up creating a lot of pain and stress in a sufferer’s life.

Whiplash is a kind of ‘catch all’ phrase that is used to describe an injury to the neck area that happened in a car accident (rear-end collisions are a common culprit). The whiplash happens when a person’s head is ‘whipped’ forward on impact and then whips back. This injury can affect either the muscles in the neck and upper back, or the vertebra, but most often, both. The pain usually starts immediately and if left untreated, can last a lifetime.

Because a whiplash injury can involve both muscle and bone, massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments are often complementary. While Massage can help injured muscles to heal, and eliminate Trigger Points caused, Chiropractic adjustments can re-align any vertebrae that may have slipped during the injury.

After an injury to muscle, any tearing that has occurred needs to heal. In general, massage helps the body to heal by increasing the amount of oxygen getting to the muscles. However, massage should not be applied until 72 hours post injury. Once treatments begin, helping the muscles to relax and loosen will allow more blood and oxygen into the affected area and assist in the healing. Massage also reduces stress associated with physical trauma.

Another aspect of whiplash that massage can address is the development of Trigger Points after an injury. Once TrPs have developed in a muscle, they can only be eliminated when addressed specifically. Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) is effective in identifying TrPs and treating them. Headaches and neck pain are the most common result of TrPs developed due to whiplash. Some common spots when pain may be experienced are: the base of the neck; the base of the skull; top of the head; just above the eye. These are just a few of the areas that TrPs can refer pain to.

If you are suffering from a whiplash injury, massage therapy can help you recover, and get back to normal.

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