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Whiplash…?

The introduction of seat belts heralded a 50% reduction in the death rate of people caught in car accidents. A reduction that came with a cost because seat belts increase soft tissue injuries (1). A typical experience of a bump from behind is a sense of being propelled forward then quickly backwards. The change in acceleration and deceleration is the hallmark of a whiplash event. When people think of whiplash, they may conjure up images of the head being thrown front to back, but it is not just the neck that is traumatised, because in 50% of cases the lumbar spine is also injured (1). In short, the whole spine is affected in a whiplash trauma (WAD) (2).

In 15-25% of cases people do not seem to get better following their whiplash injury and females seem to be more injured than males (3) in similar accidents. 62% of people with whiplash feel better in 6 months with up to an 85% recovery rate after one year (3). If you are interested in getting better in less than 6 -12 months, then Chiropractic Care may well help you to get better sooner (4).

Chiropractic Care includes manual therapy, rehabilitative exercise and preventative advice. If you are lucky to find a nutritionally aware Chiropractor, they may also advise you to consider B Vitamins which can help brain tissue (5) heal if your head was shaken about, as is often the case in whiplash.

A 2nd whiplash can accumulate trauma to your spine worsening you by an additional 40% (6). Physical trauma to the spine can be accompanied by psychological trauma (7). If you are disturbed by revisiting the incident in dreams or thoughts or feel haunted by the impact causing you to be jumpy or hesitant when in a car (8) you may well have experienced a psychological injury. How you are treated by others immediately following your accident and during the indemnity process could well throw up some psychosocial bodily pains.

Lee Wickham has been helping people recover from whiplash including accumulated and ‘old whiplash’ as well as writing reports for Insurance purposes since 2002. In his first few years of practise he wasn’t confident with whiplash injuries. However, through extensive learning on the subject he now likes to challenge himself by working out the direction of impact by just palpating the spine. One could say he is feeling whiplash with his hands. Book your consultation today and see hear and feel how you could be helped.

References:

  1. Murphy DJ (2008) Ch.20 Children in Motor Vehicle Collisions Part VI Primary Care
  2. Sterling M et al (2004) A Proposed New Classification System for Whiplash Associated Disorders- Implications for Assessment and Management. Manual Therapy 9 60-70
  3. Johannsen H et al (2014) A Population Based incidence cohort study of mid back pain after traffic collisions: factors associated with global recovery. European Journal of Pain 19 (10) 1486-95
  4. Wood ward MN and Cook J, Gargan MF and Bannister G (1996) Chiropractic Treatment of Chronic Whiplash Injuries. Injury 27 (9) 643-45
  5. Hoane M et al (2006) Nicotinamide Reduces Acute Cortical Neuronal Death and Oedema in the Traumatically Injured Brain. Neuroscience Letters 408 (1) 35-39
  6. Khan S, Bannister G, Gargan M Asopa V and Edwards A (2000) Prognosis following a second whiplash injury. International Journal of the Care of the Injured. 31 249
  7. Sterling M, Kenardy J, Jull G and Vicenzino B (2003) The Development of Psychological Changes Following Whiplash Injury
  8. Elkit A and Allan J (2006) The Association between anxiety and chronic pain after whiplash injury. Gender Specific Effects. The Clinical journal of Pain. 22 (5) 487-90
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