Whiplash and Motor Vehicle Accidents

By: Matt Rowe – QubeCore Physiotherapist

What is Whiplash?
The term “Whiplash” is used frequently in the health care world, so we wanted to dive into detail on what is involved with this type of injury. Whiplash is defined as an energy transfer injury to the neck as a result of a rapid back-and-forth (acceleration-deceleration) movement of the neck.

This action results in what is referred to as whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). WAD is the term given to the collection of symptoms affecting the neck that are triggered by incidents such as a motor vehicle accident (MVA), fall, sports-related collision, or diving accident. Although the official definition solely mentions the neck, injuries after an MVA often have many symptoms.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?
● Neck, upper/lower back, and shoulder pain
● Muscle stiffness
● Loss of mobility
● Headaches
● Upper/lower extremity pain, numbness, and/or tingling (arms, hands, legs, feet)

Following an MVA patients may also experience:
● Dizziness
● Blurred vision
● Fatigue
● Ringing in ears (tinnitus)
● Concussion
● Fractures

How long do symptoms last?
Everyone heals at a different rate depending on the nature and severity of their injuries.

Following an MVA, symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to weeks to several months (unfortunately, even years in more severe cases). It is also common for symptoms to not appear right away. In many cases symptoms worsen in the first week following the initial injury.

WAD is a unique injury in that the magnitude of the incident does not always match with the level of disability. For example, it is possible that a seemingly innocent “fender bender” can result in weeks of adverse muscle tension and limited mobility.

As the population continues to grow, so too does the number of cars on the road. As a result, we are seeing an increase in MVA and WAD cases as the years go on. Fortunately, with the new changes made by ICBC, patients are able to seek treatment right away following an MVA.

For accidents occurring after April 1, 2019, patients are pre-approved for the following therapy services:

● Chiropractic (25 Treatments)
● Physiotherapy (25 Treatments)
● Massage Therapy (12 Treatments)
● Kinesiology/Active Rehab (12 Treatments)
● Acupuncture (12 Treatments)

Research and clinical experience show that a multi-disciplinary approach to most injuries including whiplash and MVA related injuries provides the most effective therapeutic outcome for patients. The goal is to get the patients injury free and fully functional as soon as possible.

For more information on whiplash and MVAs, don’t hesitate to contact us. If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, please contact us at QubeCore Sports & Rehab in North Vancouver to learn how our experienced team can help.

QubeCore Sports & Rehab offers therapy for whiplash and MVA related injuries in North Vancouver.

To book your treatment, please call the clinic or book online with one of our therapists.

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