Anyone who has suffers from Whiplash knows how excruciatingly painful, frustrating and debilitating it can be. After all, we use our neck for almost everything.
As an Edmonton Registered Massage Therapist for over ten years, I have seen dozens of patients who suffer with whiplash. I have also seen the countless benefits massage therapy has offered them, including faster healing, increased range of motion, better sleep and total elimination of pain over time.
If you or someone you know is dealing with whiplash and is considering trying massage therapy for pain management, this blog post is for them.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury to the spine and surrounding muscles caused by the neck being forcibly bent forward, backward and sideways. Whiplash can be caused by a variety of incidents including sports injury.
However, the most common cause of whiplash is a car accident. Your muscles and spine are not prepared for the sudden trauma inflicted by the impact and it often results in partial tearing of the muscles surrounding your neck and spine.
People who suffer from whiplash experience pain and soreness in their neck, head and upper back almost immediately after the trauma has occurred. In some instances, those with whiplash can begin to experience headaches, lower back pain and all of these symptoms can get worse as time goes on.
If you have recently been in an incident that caused your neck and back to jerk suddenly, and immediately begin to experience any of the symptoms I listed above, you most likely have whiplash.
Is Massage Therapy a Viable Treatment For Whiplash?
Absolutely — when the correct massage approach is used, massage therapy can not just improve the mobility in your neck but it can also relieve the pain altogether. The massage techniques that are best suited for whiplash victims is active and passive massage combined.
The active massage approach includes a variety of massage techniques and exercises like deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, cross fiber friction massage and more.
Passive techniques might include things such as hot stone massage or massage that is focused on relaxation to relieve pressure and tension in your neck.
The Benefits of Massage Therapy For Whiplash
By using the right combination of appropriate passive and active massage therapy techniques, the goal is to eliminate the pain in your neck and ultimately improve your function and range of motion.
Keep in mind — like with every type of injury and corresponding treatment, whether it be a more traditional approach or a holistic one, there is no one size fits all type of outcome. The time it takes for complete recovery from your whiplash depends on the intensity of the injury, how torn your muscles are and how quickly your body responds to the techniques.
The positive thing to know is after time, massage therapy can and will improve your functionality so not only can you begin to do things like sleep and work pain-free again, you can also get back to doing the things you love.
Accident Benefits In Alberta
In Alberta, if you have been injured in a car accident you are entitled to accident benefits coverage regardless if it was your fault or not. When you visit your family doctor for an assessment after the accident and have been diagnosed with whiplash, you can request a referral for massage therapy.
Things To Remember
Request Referral: Not all doctors will immediately suggest massage therapy, so I recommend bringing it up on your own to discuss the benefits and ask for a referral.
Adjuster Info: Be sure to get the phone number and name of your adjuster who will be the main point of contact for direct billing after your massage appointments.
Paperwork: There is a lot of paperwork to fill out to ensure you have coverage for your massage appointments. Be thorough and feel free to ask any questions along the way.
If you have been in a car accident in Edmonton and are experiencing whiplash, feel free to reach out by phone today at (780) 224-7111. I am happy to answer any questions you might have. While there are different courses of action, massage is one of the best treatments for whiplash and can help you get back to where you were before the accident.