Whiplash is a complex injury that is often seen in clinics. But why is so complex? What exactly is it, and what happens during the injury? Why is it so hard to recover from?
Jordan Loughlin of Inbalance Physio and Wellness has taken the time answer your questions about whiplash.
Whiplash is an injury sustained when the body is subjected to a rapid acceleration – deceleration event. The main mechanism of this injury is motor vehicle accidents. Whiplash mainly affects the spine, however any body part can sustain a whiplash type injury. The most common part of the spine that is affected is the neck due to the heavy weight of the head being accelerated in one direction, followed by the recoil effect in the opposite direction.
The truth is that whiplash injuries rarely amount to a serious injury to the tissues. It is more that there is a low grade injury to a large number of pain sensitive tissues – ligament, nerves, muscles and even the discs in the spine. Because they are overstretched, a small amount of tearing will occur. And this means that you will produce inflammation. Inflammation by nature has chemicals that irritate nerve endings which will increase your pain.
TREATMENT TIP – reduce inflammation immediately. Go to your GP and get some anti-inflammatories, even if you are not sore after a car accident. You could save yourself a lot of pain in the long run. Keep your neck moving. Swelling and inflammation ‘stick’ tissues together making movement painful later on. See a physio ASAP after the injury so you can be given exercises to avoid any complications.
Unfortunately, many people don’t quite recover as quickly as they should. And there are many reasons why this might be the case. We wanted to break down a few of the common reason to help you understand why your recovery might be taking a bit longer
So, there you have it! Now you know what happens, how your body heals and why you might now be recovering quite as quickly as you should.
You can book an appointment with an Inbalance Physio and Wellness expert online or call (07) 3106 3319.
When you suffer an injury, your first thought might be to seek treatment from a doctor or physiotherapist. And while that's the correct action to take, people often forget to think about how their diet can impact their recovery process.
We sat down with nutritionist, Kate Jeffries from Katalyst Nutrition to talk through how you can eat your way to recovery.
Based in Brisbane, Kate holds a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology) and an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine and she uses her background in both of these areas to work to achieve optimal health and nutrition for her clients.
Read on to see her insights and find out what food you need to be eating and when.
If you missed Part 1 in this series, click here to view it.
Injury healing involves processes that (1) fill in, (2) seal and (3) shrink the wound or injury.
These characteristics of healing vary in importance and duration dependent on the different types of injuries.
Injury healing, following the inflammatory response, involves a process known as the migration or proliferation phase. This phase begins 3 – 4 days after injury and continues from between 2 – 10 weeks dependent on the type and severity of injury.
For example, a paper cut or sutured surgical wound will heal within a couple of weeks because the edges of the wound are in close proximity and the injured area has suffered minimal tissue loss.
A fracture, on the other hand, can take up to 10 weeks in the migration phase as there are more complicated processes involved in an attempt to restore bone tissue and strength.
Within 48 hours after an injury, a process called angiogenesis takes place in which new blood vessels begin to form from surrounding soft tissue which increases the blood flow to the site of injury. Any dead red blood cells are cleared away and other cells known as fibroblasts infiltrate the injured area and start laying down collagen.
This is a vital component of this process as collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies and acts as the ‘glue’ that holds together the tissues of our:
…the list goes on.
During the migration phase you will probably find that you are exercising less so your appetite decreases.
Although your energy requirements during recovery are less than when you are consistently exercising, they are still higher than your day to day energy requirements when sedentary (your basal metabolic rate). This is due to the work your body is undertaking to repair injured tissue. Failing to meet these energy requirements by not eating enough coupled with lack of exercise may result in a loss in muscle mass as well an increase in fat stores.
Proteins are the building blocks for all of the cells in our body so consuming adequate protein is vital during recovery. The minimum amount of protein that should be consumed in a day is 0.8 gm of protein per kg of body weight.
So, for a 70 kg person this equates to approximately 56 gm of protein each day.
The needs of athletes are higher and they should be consuming closer to 1.5 – 2 gm of protein/kg of body weight each day.
Your protein intake should be broken up over the course of the day and will ideally come from a variety of different sources.
Protein sources include (but are not limited to):
The inclusion of healthy fats such as:
…remains important during this phase due to their anti-inflammatory properties (refer to previous post for more information).
Minimally processed carbohydrates should also be included for energy from wholefood sources such as:
The main considerations during this period are ensuring you are eating enough each day to meet your energy requirements.
This may mean that you ensure you eat every 3 – 4 hours even though you may not be feeling that hungry.
Avoiding inflammatory foods such as high amounts of animal protein, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and highly refined or processed foods will also support the recovery process.
It is also important to include variety in your diet to ensure you are obtaining a wide range of different nutrients to optimize your health and functioning of the body.
You can book a consultation with Kate at Katalyst Nutrition online or call (+61) 423 493 330.
Watch this video to get a simple foam roller technique to trigger point your neck, to relieve neck pain, fast!
You will also learn how to loosen your midback which is another key element to relieving pain in your neck and upper back.
Stay tuned to the end where you will be shown some simple ways to loosen the muscles in your legs which ties in for an all over body massage maintenance
Learning to foam roll is a fantastic way for self-management of those tight and painful muscles all over your body and relieving those stiff and sore joints in your upper back. Its such a simple tool that you can take with you anywhere and use whenever you want. Use it when you are travelling or strapped for time. You can roll as part of a daily regime or get benefits for 2-3 short session a week.
It is so simple you can miss the benefits so give it a go today!
You can book an appointment with a Physiotherapist at Maximise Health online or call (07) 3343 5494.
If you have a mobile phone, laptop or tablet and you get neck, upper back or lower back pain
chances are you may be a Tech Wreck.
I call a Tech Wreck any neck pain that is caused by using these pieces of technology. In my practice we see many clients showing signs of Tech Wreck!
Susan is a client of ours who comes to mind.
Susan is a Tech Wreck!
Susan is a professional in her late 20’s. She spends most of her day on her computer for work. She has deadlines that she has to meet and so can spend up to 3 hours at a time without getting up from her desk.
Susan is also into Facebook, Instagram and Snap chat. She belongs to many Facebook groups for work and to catch up with other special interest groups and loves to post to her friends on Instagram and Snap chat. She texts a lot on her mobile phone as her friends communicate this way also.
When we first met Susan we looked at her posture. She looked overweight, had hunched shoulders and her chin poked forward. We stood her up against the wall and her head did not reach the wall without her tipping her head back. Her stomach poked out also and her knees rolled in.
Susan was getting constant headaches and at the end of the day she was always exhausted and this was starting to impact on her social life. She had pain turning her head and looking up and it was also affecting her sleep. Many of you could be in the same boat if any of this resonates with you.
We decided that Susan would benefit from our “BodyFix” program. We empowered Susan to take her health into her own hands. Susan became the instigator of her program and we became the facilitators. Susan was taught how her body should work so that she could then make important decisions on what she did with her body during the day.
First of all we relieved Susan’s pain and helped her to understand where her pain was coming from. This way she was empowered to eliminate the causes.
Susan asked for a stand up desk that would allow her to stand up while on the computer and because it was adjustable she could lower it to sit for some periods of time also. She no longer looked down at her screen but looked straight ahead. She used eye drops to help her avoid getting eye strain from too much screen time.
Susan decided to limit her time on her tablet and mobile phone to 10 mins at a time. She used an alarm to tell her when her 10 minutes was up. She could always go back to it later on for another 10 minutes after a short break.
Her life was starting to get back in order and she was feeling strong and confident about her future. We taught her self massage techniques to use when she was starting to feel any strain and she had a list of stretches that she performed daily to counteract the tightness in her muscles. We also gave Susan a strengthening program to start with. Using this as a starting point Susan was then able to find the right exercises for her. Susan was confident in attending gym classes as she now knew what her body could do and what she liked to do.
Susan would come in every 4 to 5 weeks or so for a tweaking of her “BodyFix” program so that we could then teach her more about her body and keep her feeling Strong , Healthy and Active, and also to get on top of any niggles that could potentially turn into problems later on.
Interestingly when we first saw Susan she looked overweight and sluggish. A few weeks into her program she no longer looked overweight. She had transformed into a picture of Health and Vitality. She was actually never overweight at all she just looked it because of her poor posture.
Here are the 6 ways that Susan transformed herself from a Tech Wreck into a person bursting with Health, Strength and Vitality.
As soon as Susan felt any inkling of a headache coming on she would lie on her Neck Tek, which I also call the headache remover. If your headache is a result of neck strain then this simple device corrects the muscle action (BodyFix). It will even work if you just lie in it for 10 minutes and do nothing as it corrects body position and facilitates the correct muscles to work.
Susan did not sit or stand at her computer for more than an hour at a time. She had an alarm to tell her when to get up and/or move . This then stops the accumulation of stress in certain muscles.
Susan limited her mobile phone and tablet usage to 10 mins at a time
Susan performed specific neck stretches gently every hour to stop accumulation of tension in muscles
Susan performed specific posture strengthening exercises every morning and night which only took her 5 minutes to do. This then got her muscles ready to take on the load she was going to put on them during the day.
Susan made the decision on which exercise she would do because she knew her body better than anyone else.
In this day and age every single person needs their own “BodyFix” program because everybody deserves to have a Strong, Healthy Active body.
Come and see a Pain Slayer for your BodyFix program. You can book an appointment with a Graceville Physio 'Pain Slayer' online or call (07) 3278 1186
31 years of practicing physiotherapy.
31 years to observe the characteristics and implications of various issues.
31 years practicing for the link between chronic pain, particularly spinal or lower limb pain, and obesity to become apparent.
... and your GP says to go home and rest, lie down and do nothing.
Whilst helpful for say, 24 hours, it's important to get up and move! When your GP says rest, they don't mean rest on the couch for a week with a cheese platter and the whole season of Bachelor on repeat (although this does sound appetizing).
They mean relative rest - continuing to move as much as the pain allows, even if this is just between episodes! The movement will actually help with the healing process. As our pain lessens, we should begin activating the muscles that may have been inhibited by our pain. Retraining the muscles to work in the correct way in co-operation with other muscles is essential for normalising movement.
Well, not only does resting completely effect our road to recovery, but it also effects our mental well-being. The resting causes our muscle to cease, we become tight and weak - we struggle to even reach the remote now!
It becomes a vicious cycle.
People with pain as a result of inactivity can often become depressed. Depressed people turn to food for immediate comfort. The inactive human nearly always turns to food and drink, including alcohol. Screen time increases too.
You may have heard the term that "Sitting is the new Smoking”. Well it is true. Sitting all day can lead to Obesity, much like smoking can lead to cancer!
Something much like your favourite Bachy drinking game... but better.
The bachelor exercise game
FLEX ALL OF YOUR LIMBS IF:
Stand up if:
walk for a minute if:
call us if:
Of course, a curly haired guy and some simple exercises won't solve all your problems.
Our number one recommendation is seeing a Physiotherapist (sorry, Nick). Physios focus on your body for now, and the future! That cheese platter is temporary - nobody wants to be Fat and in Pain.
Lets make sure it doesn’t happen to you!
You can book an appointment with a Graceville Physio 'Pain Slayer' online or call (07) 3278 1186.
I am sure that if you are a runner, or were a runner, and have recently had a baby you would be aware that a high profile trainer (Michelle Bridges) was back running just 3 weeks after having her first baby. Michelle seems like Super Woman and all of us would like to be like her! Why would her pelvic floor be different than ours?
Surely we can all run 3 weeks after giving birth also!
We contacted expert physiotherapist, Angela Melit, of Graceville Physio. With her expertise in women, well-being, and fitness, she was able to aptly help us with three useful tips for getting back into running after having a baby.
Let me introduce you to a client of mine. Her name, too, is Michelle.
Michelle had her first baby at 30 years of age. She used to run for fitness semi-regularly and played touch football once a week. She always found that other forms of exercise just didn’t do it for her so after having her baby she was keen to start running as soon as she could.
Michelle ran through her pregnancy, all the way up until about 6 months. She stopped after noticing some lower abdominal pain and leakage showed after running less than just 2km.
Michelle had the normal issues that come along with pregnancies - vaginal tears and such. She had some urinary incontinence immediately after birth which lasted about a week. She noticed it when she laughed, coughed or sneezed.
Michelle had her abdominal checked for separation after birth and was told that she had only one finger separation between her muscles. Because she only had slight separation she was told that there was no need to wear any form of support garment.
Our Michelle decided if Michelle Bridges could start running again so soon after giving birth, so could she.
She was fit and healthy and so decided when her baby was 4 weeks old that she would start running just 2km.
After her first run Michelle felt a little “weird” in the lower back but did not think much of it. Two days later she went for another run, however once again felt the discomfort.
With Michelle Bridges as her motivation, she decided to keep going.
As happy as she was to be back running, she stopped after her third 2km run. It was at this point she realised the running could be the source of the pain. Michelle was understandably devastated.
It was an exercise she loved doing and importantly it a great stress reliever for her. With worries about her lack of fitness, weight gain and the stress of being a new mum, it wasn’t long before the whole family unit suffered. She felt unhealthy, unfit and fat.
Michelle happened to see one of our posts on Facebook about getting back into shape after having a baby and thought that one of our “Body Fix” programs could work for her. Michelle booked in for an appointment. We helped Michelle develop a plan which directed her towards her end goal of being able to run again without damaging anything in the process. She could see that there was light at the end of the tunnel!
Initially we were able to work out that Michelle needed to strengthen certain muscles, relax other muscles and allow her pelvic region to heal before embarking on an exercise program involving running. We gave Michelle a step by step program and educated her so that she was empowered to make decisions about her plan that suited her best.
So what are our 3 top tips?
Six months after the birth of her baby, Michelle was able to run 3 times a week.
Now, 6 months seems a long time to wait, but Michelle was running better than she had been running even before her pregnancy! Her body was working efficiently, she had a strong core and a strong pelvic floor.
She even started to play touch football again.
Michelle was happy that she could eat without feeling concerned about putting on weight, her husband was thrilled because she was so happy and her baby thrived because his mum had plenty of energy and spent a lot of time playing with him. Everybody benefited because Michelle did not settle for being in pain, unfit and depressed.
It may not be running, it might just be getting Strong, Active, and Pain free.
You can book an appointment with a Graceville Physio 'Pain Slayer' online or call (07) 3278 1186.
You wouldn’t go running, bench press or sit in a car for 8 hours continuously without a break or two to move around, would you? So why do we find it perfectly normal to sit, hunched over, with muscles in constant contraction, straining our eyes as we stare into a fluorescent screen all day? It’s absolute madness…
Never fear however as help is at hand for relieving those aches and pain as well as tight neck muscles that leave you feeling sore, tired, heavy and at quite possibly with a splitting headache. Fortunately we have some easy to do, take anywhere, anytime exercises that will get you loose as a goose and ready to face the afternoon slog towards 3:30-itis.
Active Neck Rotation: This is a great one for general loosening of the neck when it feels tight as well as practicing controlled, supported movement. Starting in correct posture which is sitting tall, shoulders slightly back and down, chin tucked in and head facing forward) slowly rotate the head to the left keeping the line of sight parallel to the ground (not looking up or down). When you reach a position where the neck is slightly uncomfortable with the stretch pause for 1 second and then turn the head back through centre and to the right. Repeat this in a slow controlled motion for one minute, take a short 30 second break and repeat.
2 sets of 1 min
3 sets of 30 sec each side
2 sets of 30 sec each
10 sets of 10-20 sec hold
1 set of 10 reps (5 sec hold) for each
Stay tuned for another article from the Queen Street Physiotherapy team soon
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding this interview, treatment of cycling injuries or other health issues please do not hesitate to contact Donovan and the rest of the team by visiting the Queen Street Physiotherapy website.
Queen St Physiotherapy offers ergonomic advice, custom made orthotics, running assessment, hydrotherapy, dry needling, remedial massage, exercise and stretching programs.
Knee surgery. The concept can make even the strongest person cringe in sympathetic pain.
We contacted Physiotherapist Martin Coote from Brisbane City Physiotherapy to discuss post operative management and tips for rehab after knee surgery improve the chance of a successful recovery.
Read on to see his insights.
The key to assisting your rehab after surgery is to have your knee as strong as possible prior to surgery.
Some hospitals now provide “get fit for surgery” programs as this greatly assists with achieving the goals in the post-operative protocol. Your Physiotherapist can help set this up and will usually need information on the type of surgery and your Surgeons post-operative protocol
Usually you will leave hospital with specific instructions and advice on when it is appropriate to commence your rehabilitation and when you will have a follow-up appointment with your Surgeon.
This will depend on the specific surgery and your Surgeon’s protocol.
The general principles of rehabilitation are to regain range of motion and strength as soon as allowable (depending on the type of surgery).
Your Physiotherapist in conjunction with the Surgeon’s post-operative protocol can guide you on the specific exercises you need to do for your particular surgery.
You should see your Physiotherapist as soon as possible after the Surgeon gives you the green light to commence rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy modalities may include massage, mobilisations, and specific exercises to help regain mobility and strength.
Furthermore, gait re-education is usually required to ensure a normal gait pattern is returned.
Often an altered gait pattern can place undue load on the hip and back and be difficult to correct if the compensatory pattern is not corrected in the early phases of rehabilitation.
Stay tuned for more articles from Martin and the Brisbane City Physiotherapy team.
In the meantime, if you have any questions related to this article, surgery or other mobility issues, please contact Brisbane City Physiotherapy on (07) 3301 2345 or click the button below.
If you have a neck injury which may have resulted from a motor vehicle accident, a fall or an injury at work you will know how persistent the pain and symptoms are and how encroaching they are on your daily life.
The pain and other symptoms, including headaches, can feel like it's ruining your life.
If you have these issues you should be seen by a health professional for in depth assessment, treatment options and self-management information (including your own exercise programme).
While you are waiting to see your health professional or if you are searching for some more options to help yourself relieve the pain and symptoms of your neck injury this simple exercise from Sean McCoola of Maximize Health Group can kick start your return to normal life without symptoms.
In sitting or standing position, while stationery or travelling all you need to concentrate on is tucking your chin in.
That’s it! It’s so effective because it addresses the 3 major issues that continue neck pain and symptoms: poor posture, stiff neck joints, spasmed and irritated muscles and nerves.
Watch the video below for a demonstration.
Sit or stand tall to begin. Check out Sean's video on how to perfect your posture and prevent postural pain here.
Concentrate on gliding chin straight back, as if dragging your chin on a flat surface. Use your pointer finger to push chin backwards. Leave pressure on for the whole hold times below if it helps.
Hold for 10 seconds at a time initially, build to 10 x 10 second holds and build this to complete repeatedly throughout the day. Aim to make this position your new “normal” over weeks and months
To help relax into this position, breathe in through your nose for 3 seconds and out through your nose for 6 seconds. Yes, this lasts almost the whole 10 seconds of the hold of position and can be repeated as you are able to hold the position for longer.
To improve the stretch and joint movement tilt head to one side and hold initially for 10 seconds
Stay tuned next month for another article from Maximize Health Group.
Check out Sean's other articles below.
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding these tips, whiplash injury recovery or other health issues please do not hesitate to contact Sean on +61 7 3343 5494 or [email protected].
Whether you have rolled your ankle, broken a rib or torn a ligament, your body goes through the same painful and uncomfortable process to repair itself.
We sat down with Nick Marshall from Surf Life Physio in Miami, QLD earlier this month to get a better understanding of the recovery journey. Nick has over 17 years' experience as a physiotherapist, having practised both privately for his own practice Surf Life Physio and as a senior outpatient physio for Tweed Heads Hospital.
Nick gives his insights on the final recovery stage, known as the remodelling phase, of an injury and provides tips on how best to manage this stage.
The remodeling phase is when the less mature Collagen fibres become thicker and stronger.
Depending on the physio rehab, these fibres then align themselves in a position so they are ready to absorb load and stress.
The most important component of the remodeling phase is that it cannot begin until the inflammation phase has come to an end and the area damaged no longer has elevated inflammatory markers.
In the analogy we are using of the house fire, the remodeling phase are the builders, the people instructed with repairing and re-building the damaged areas, and making sure the quality of the materials and the way they are assembled and constructed will withstand future issues thrown at it.
But as we discussed, in the human body, the remodeling can’t begin with the inflammation present, and neither can a builder start to re-build a house with the area still cordoned off by police and firemen still hosing the flames on the house down (remember the first stage, known as inflammation, is like emergency services).
This is often what happens in the presence of chronic inflammation and so the builders never get to build because the emergency servicers never move out and so the healing fails.
Like wise the builders can’t start to rebuild the house if the house is still on fire and have people injured inside. This is what quite often happens in the body when a person takes an anti-inflammatory pill (or an anti-emergency services pill) too early in the acute injury model. By denying the area of an inflammatory or emergency services period there’s no possible way to progress and so again the healing of damaged tissues fails
Like building a house the remodeling phase can be slow and take time. In fact in some injuries especially to tendons and ligaments it can take a year.
Generally, because this phase can’t start until the area is free of inflammation, this stage is pain free and the person will be almost back doing things without any discomfort. But that can be the danger. Because despite the absence of pain the structures haven’t been completely fixed and healed.
This is the most important period to get physio.
It’s at this stage that you are adding exercises and stretches to the program to allow the structures to heal in the right way so to avoid re-injury and restore pre-injury function.
If you missed the last two blog posts, click the links below. They are worth the read.
This concludes our injury recovery article series. But be sure to stay tuned for more articles from Nick and the Surf Life Physio team.
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding these tips, injury recovery or other health issues please do not hesitate to contact Nick and his team at Surf Life Physio on (07) 5527 7830 or click the button below.