A whiplash injury is life changing, with effects that can last months, and even years. Waves of improvement in pain and ability to do daily tasks, followed by episodes of returned pain and loss of movement for no apparent reason, are confusing and frustrating at best.
While the body is a master at healing itself, without education on proper exercise and positioning recovery from this injury can be impeded. Seeking help from professionals who are experienced in treating whiplash injuries can be pivotal in facilitating recovery. The wave of symptoms that come and go with whiplash can be confusing, not just for the patient, but the untrained professional as well. A well rounded approach to treatment to include treatment of inflammation, muscular imbalance and weakness, instability, and proper postures are important to address.
There are phases to recovery from a whiplash injury that require different forms of treatment, education, and recommendations. Preexisting conditions also can affect recovery from whiplash. It is wise to research the experience of the therapist in treating these type injuries before beginning therapy. Having realistic expectations for the healing process is also important in dealing with this type injury. Patient specific education can help the individual have a better understanding for where they are in the healing process and what is appropriate for that particular phase of healing. Compliance with a home exercise program is critical in the treatment process. Therapist guided recommendations for exercise should be patient specific to facilitate gains. Guidance from the therapist in changing and progressing exercises based on response to treatment in and of itself can encourage the patient in the recovery process.
Working with a therapist while having realistic expectations of plateaus and set-backs are important as this condition can take months and even years to heal. One of the best first steps to treatment for whiplash injury is seeking experienced help to aide recovery.