We hope you never have to deal with whiplash. The good news is, it's usually a quick recovery if you start treatment right away.
Due to an accident, any of these muscles may be pulled or torn. They respond to injury by tightening, to protect themselves from any further damage. The neck feels as though a brace has been put on it. It's typically sore on touch, and painful when moving in any direction.
Below is a couple of examples of actual clients who came to East West with recent car accident-caused whiplash injuries (client names are changed for privacy).
Sarah came complaining of tight neck and shoulder muscles, intermittent headaches, and tightness around the chest and difficulty with deep breathing. All of these are common symptoms of whiplash.
After a general tissue relaxation massage with gentle movement and compressions, we first addressed the most common culprit - the Sterno-Cleido-Mastoid (see image). It was sore and contained painful trigger points. The same was true for Scalenes and other neck muscles.
However, the permanent relief came when the Pectoralis muscles and the ribcage muscles (ribs 1-3) were treated, fiber by fiber. Almost immediately, Sarah was able to breathe more fully and and pull her shoulders back without pain. Luckily, there was no recurring pain after those couple of massage treatments, and the whiplash was treated permanently.
Another example was Lauren (referred by Sarah) who had a car accident only 4 days before her first appointment here. Since the accident, Lauren suffered from intense headaches, and her neck muscles felt sore.
Again, we started off with gentle tension relief massage all around the neck and shoulders. After careful examination, it was apparent that Lauren's Sterno-Cleido-Mastoid muscles and the Scalenes were in a chronic spasm.
The headaches went away immediately after the first session, and never came back. It took additional 2 massage sessions to restore those muscles to their healthy state. As in Sarah's case, there was not any recurring sensations, and the whiplash was treated permanently.
Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. The symptoms of pain, tension, and headaches can last for months. It's best to catch it early.
Other helpful treatments include Chiropractic care, Physical Therapy, and Acupuncture, as well as warm compresses, and gentle strengthening exercises.