“I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth”
Hands up if you’ve caught an edge trying a new move and face planted. Or jumped one way whilst your kite pulled you the opposite way. Or got tumbled and perhaps caught a bit of the bottom of the ocean with your head. (if not – you’re not trying hard enough)
Odds are, you’ve walked away or woken up the following day with restricted movement in your neck, most likely a headache and difficulty even lifting your head up off the bed in the morning.
Let me offer you a free diagnosis: you very likely have Whiplash. The same injury people get when they have a car accident and their head whips forward and then back.
What is whiplash?
As I’ve mentioned before, our body is very clever. When it experiences a type of trauma, such as a sudden impact, as a precaution against further damage it will cause all the muscles around the affected area to lock up to try and protect it. Whiplash results in just that - the muscles and joints stiffening up to protect you from making it worse.
What can you do to fix it?
- Avoid quick movement and deep massage. As much as you may feel like poking the sore area – don’t! Your body will just think it is getting injured and so will tighten up even more.
- Heat it! Use heat to calm down the muscles and allow yourself to move.
- Move gently and regularly. Make sure this is pain-free. Don’t push into the pain. This isn’t a more-pain, more-gain situation.
- As soon as this initial spasm subsides, get a firmer massage and some joint mobilisation (gently pushing on the joints) to regain your full range of your neck.
DON’T just wait for it to go away on it’s own as it will take a lot longer and will leave you more prone to recurrent flare ups!
**If you are getting blurry vision, dizziness and/or blacking out – head to your closest medical centre as you may have injured an important blood vessel supplying your brain.