Whiplash is an injury that can occur from a variety of accidents. While most whiplash injuries are the result of an auto accident, it can also be caused by a slip and fall accident or sporting injury. The stress placed on the muscles and connective tissue can lead to both inflammation and discomfort until the injury is fully healed. With whiplash being one of the most commonly reported injuries, massage therapy is one of the most affordable of all treatment options. Massage therapy can also be used in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments for a more well-rounded healing plan.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury that affects the muscles and connective tissues in the neck. It is caused by abruptly stopping the forward motion of the head which results in it being jerked violently backward. The stretching and over-extension of the connective tissue can cause intense pain and may sometimes feel as if a dislocation has occurred. Because the injury deals with both the muscles and the skeletal/connective tissues, it may take several weeks to heal. This is much longer than an injury that only involves the muscles. If left untreated, whiplash can lead to headaches and chronic neck pain.
Symptoms of Whiplash
The symptoms of whiplash will vary from case to case. The severity of the injury is a determining factor when it comes to the severity of the symptoms. Pain and inflammation are the two most common symptoms. The extensive inflammation can prevent you from turning your head from side to side. Any movement can be painful if it is performed too quickly. Mild cases of whiplash can take anywhere from four to six weeks to heal while severe cases may take up to nine to twelve weeks. Stiffness in the area is also common due to keeping the neck still and avoiding unnecessary movements.
Massage Therapy Benefits
Massage therapy is one of the best ways to treat a whiplash injury. Deep tissue massage restores blood flow to the injured area. This, in turn, brings much-needed nutrients to an area that needs oxygen and other necessities in order to heal. Massage also manipulates the tissues keeping them flexible and strong when exercise isn’t possible. The kneading of the tissues also breaks up pockets of inflammation that hinder movement and prevent you from turning your head or moving in a natural manner. When massage therapy is performed throughout the head, neck, and upper shoulders, it can strengthen the entire area providing additional strength and support.
Caring for a Whiplash Injury
Because of the nature of a whiplash injury, receiving massage therapy every two or three days can actually hasten the healing process. This means that pain and inflammation are minimized in a relatively short period of time. The tissues start to gradually heal and become stronger making it possible for you to return to your day to day activities much sooner. The more frequently massage is received, the more flexibility you will have and your muscles will be much stronger and more resistant to re-injury.
Massage therapy is often considered one of the most effective treatment options when it comes to caring for a whiplash injury. As part of an effective treatment plan, deep tissue massage improves circulation and flexibility allowing you to enjoy an increased range of motion with less pain and overall discomfort. When combined with chiropractic care and physical therapy, deep tissue massage completes the loop in terms of overall care and minimizing your pain and discomfort. The acute pain and discomfort associated with whiplash can be incredibly uncomfortable. Prompt treatment with massage therapy is an effective way to reduce your discomfort and minimize your pain.
Learn more about how massage therapy can help with whiplash or a whiplash related injury contact you local massage school. Also contact the admissions department of Seattle Clinical Massage School to ask specific questions relating to massage and whiplash.