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What is Whiplash?

"Whiplash syndrome" is the name given to a group of neck pain syndromes most commonly resulting from rear-end vehicle impacts. Permanent damage is uncommon and your long-term outlook is good. Whiplash injuries are not usually serious and do not involve damage to the bones, discs or nerves in the neck.

The cause of pain in the acute (recent) stage after whiplash may be acute muscle injury, but there can be other significant injuries depending on the force of the injury. These can include spinal fracture, haematomas (bleeding into the tissues) and nerve damage.

Signs & Symptoms

Most people report pain in the back of the neck, worse on movement. Pain may radiate up to the head, across to the shoulders, arms or between the shoulder blades. Headaches are typically at the back of the head and spread forwards over the head.

Other, less common symptoms can be:

Additionally, some bruising may occur in the seatbelt area. If rotation or turning of the neck is involved, then other structures in the neck may be affected, such as the nerves which pass between the vertebrae and out to the arm. The symptoms of whiplash may resemble other conditions and medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis. For mild to moderate severity of injury, early physiotherapy helps to ensure a full and quicker recovery. However, for severe injuries, physiotherapy for the neck may not be practical until a period of one to two weeks has passed as the patient is in too much pain during the initial period.

How physiotherapy Helps

Stockport Physio is experienced in dealing with whiplash and can use a variety of techniques to alleviate your pain and return you to full levels of activity. It is important to start treatment early as whiplash can develop into chronic back pain. Stockport Physio can:

Initial treatment immediately after the incident will often involve the following and really depends on the findings and your physician's recommendation. Treatment may include:

Stockport Physio stress the importance of proper care after injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident and encourage each patient to follow their instructions closely, following through with every component of the program.

Book now to arrange an immediate appointment

To arrange an appointment or to speak to a physiotherapist, please call our friendly reception staff on 0161 883 0640 or email