Whiplash and Whiplash Associated Disorder

What are Whiplash and Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)?

Whiplash is the mechanical injury to the neck caused by sudden acceleration and deceleration. Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) refers to the symptoms that result from this injury. The impact may lead to damage in soft tissue or bone in the neck. The most common cause of WAD is from a motor vehicle accident, although you can sustain WAD from other injuries to the head, for example falling and hitting your head on the floor.

 (Source: http://www.physiospot.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/whiplash-image.jpg)

(Source: http://www.physiospot.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/whiplash-image.jpg)

What are the symptoms?

Some of the symptoms you may experience, include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Arm pain and tingling
  • Shoulder blade and low back pain
  • Difficulties with memory and concentration
  • Irritability and low mood
  • Other symptoms may include: blurry vision, ringing in the ears, tingling in the face

How do physiotherapists treat WAD?

Physiotherapy treatment includes, but is not exclusive to:

  • Inflammation and pain control
  • Education about your body mechanics
  • Manual therapy
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises

If you are unfortunate enough to experience a whiplash as a result of a motor vehicle accident or other head/neck injury, come in and talk to one of our physiotherapists. 
We want to help you on your journey to recovery.

(Source: http://bcphysio.org/sites/default/files/file_attachments/page/wad_guidelines.pdf)