Witney Physiotherapy Centre

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Car Accidents

Even a low speed crash can result in a whiplash injury - the term given to the injury sustained by the neck when a person is thrown forwards then backwards in an impact.  Pain usually results from muscle and ligament straining, but actual fractures or dislocation of the vertebrae are very rare.

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The symptoms of a whiplash injury include neck pain, stiffness, tenderness and possibly  restricted range of movement, headaches and dizziness.  Occasionally pain may be referred into the arm with associated numbness and tingling.  The pain of a whiplash injury usually has a gradual onset over the few hours following the accident, or is felt the following morning.  Severe and immediate pain after an accident may be indicative of more serious injury and requires prompt medical assistance. 

Recent studies have shown that using a soft collar is unhelpful.  The best immediate course of action is to take painkillers and continue with normal activities.

Rehabilitation of whiplash injuries should ideally be started within 4 days of the injury occurring.  Specific exercises prescribed by a physiotherapist are the first stage, but if treatment is delayed, other techniques such as spinal mobilisations may be used in addition.  Either way, you are strongly advised to see a physiotherapist as soon as you are able.

Often, following a car accident, you will be involved in a medico-legal process or insurance claim.  Witney Physiotherapy Centre has considerable experience and established links in this field.  Our physiotherapists will assess and treat your injuries and can also provide professional reports or testament as required.

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