NCTV Episode 104

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode includes:-

  • The mechanism of injury
  • What symptoms to expect
  • How to protect yourself
  • Self-help strategies
  • Treatment options


If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 104 which is all about whiplash.

So let’s buckle up and get started on what it actually is and what you can do to help it.

Firstly, whiplash is typically caused by a sudden jerking motion, like during a car accident, fall or sporting injury, where your neck is forced to move back and forth or side to side rapidly. When this happens, your muscles, ligaments, and even the tiny discs in your spine can get overstretched or torn. Ouch!

Some of the symptoms this can lead to are pain and muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders and arms, along with stiffness and headaches.

Whiplash can also irritate the nerves in your neck, leading to symptoms like tingling, numbness, or weakness in your face or arms. Usually, these should begin to improve in a few days and in most cases, it’ll be much better or gone within six weeks. However, in some cases it could take up to a few months to completely resolve.

To protect yourself, always adjust your headrest properly. It should be level with the top of your head and as close to the back of your head as possible.

In terms of self-help treatments following a whiplash injury, ice is usually a good option and you can apply it for about 10 minutes every few hours to reduce inflammation. After a couple of days, switching to heat is best to help relax those tight muscles.

It’s not uncommon for the nervous system to go into a state of overdrive after whiplash, so to help calm everything down, some simple deep breathing exercises can be useful where you can breathe in for four, hold for four and exhale for four and you can repeat this as much as you like.

Additionally, mindfulness techniques such as meditation and yoga can help encourage your body to switch from fight or flight to rest and digest mode. Don’t underestimate the power of rest – your body heals when you give it time to recover.

Gentle stretches can help too. Try slowly tilting your head from side to side, rotating your neck, or gently rolling your shoulders. Remember, if it hurts, stop! The aim is to ease the pain, not add to it. TENS machines have also been shown to reduce neck pain and improve muscle strength.

Other advice would be to stay hydrated and maintain good posture. Sleeping with a supportive pillow such as the Groove or Sleeprrr Pillows can be helpful.

Now, onto physical treatment options. Whilst clearly biased, many find osteopathy to be incredibly beneficial for whiplash. We use gentle, hands-on techniques to improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and enhance mobility.

Other options include physio, massage therapy and acupuncture for example. Each has its own benefits, and sometimes a combination works best. Medically, either over-the-counter pain killers can be obtained, or for stronger relief, prescription meds are also an option.

So, that’s it for this week’s bitesize bit to help your health flourish.

I’ll see you next time, bye bye.