Whiplash Injuries

WHIPLASH INJURIES - Symptoms and Treatment:

Whiplash is often attributed to rear-end auto accidents. When your head suddenly moves backward and then forward again this causes stress in the muscles and ligaments that hold your neck in position. We can also see this same type of injury stem from a hard fall, physical abuse, and sport injuries are other common causes of Whiplash.  
+Soft tissue injury is a very common result of whiplash. 
+Neurosomatic Therapy addresses muscular spasm and postural distortion left over after a Whiplash has occurred. We find that is the root cause of chronic pain in many cases. 
+In most cases it is more important to treat the muscles on the front side of the cervical spine. 
+Disc herniations and nerve root compression can be avoided with proper treatment of the soft tissues of the neck. 

Symptoms of whiplash can begin the day of an accident but pain may not become worse until 2-3 days after the accident. We have also noted many cases of whiplash induced hypo/hyperthyroidism. In these cases, trigger points (lesions in the tissue) and postural distortions(imbalances in the body) that resulted from trauma to the muscles may cause an increase or decrease in the function of the thyroid.  

In severe and chronic cases, these symptoms are considered whiplash associated disorder and can also include symptoms such as depression, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, drug dependency, post-traumatic stress syndrome and social isolation. After treatment with Neurosomatic Therapy, hypothyroid symptoms such as poor muscle tone, fatigue, depression and weight gain were alleviated. Patient may have the following symptoms resulting from Whiplash: 
+Neck pain 
+Shoulder pain 
+T.M.J. Dysfunction 
+Back Pain 
+Arm weakness 

Whiplash is generally considered a soft tissue injury sustained when forces are directed into the cervical spine (neck) that cause extreme movements in the neck, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward abruptly much like the motion of someone cracking a whip. In more severe cases, spinal fractures are possible. Most people are familiar with the forward and backward movement associated with whiplash but the same injury can also occur to side-to-side. This could be explain by a person turning around in there seat while in a vehicle at the moment of impact. These postural imbalances caused by whiplash can produce prolonged, even chronic, dysfunction of the cervical spine. Without proper treatment we could see a resulting Head Forward Posture (HFP) due to muscles left in spasm over time. Patients experience excellent recovery from whiplash accidents with the proper assessment and treatment through Neurosomatic Therapy. 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, treatment for whiplash may include pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and a cervical collar (usually worn for 2 to 3 weeks). Physical therapy, including range of motion exercise may also be prescribed. Application of heat may relieve muscle tension and ice can relieve inflammation short term. As in any significant traumatic injury, thorough assessment for fractures or other structural damage should be made by a physician before any treatment. 

Through our clinical experience, the root cause of prolonged symptoms of whiplash remains unaddressed by the treatments mentioned above. Since much of the resulting pain associated with whiplash occurs in the posterior neck and upper back, a great deal of time treating is focused on these areas. However, a substantial amount of trauma is sustained in the front of the cervical spine in this situation. When the head is snapped back in a typical whiplash injury, the longus colli, longus capitis, sternocleidomastiod, scalenes, and anterior longitudinal ligament of the spine undergo a strain that can range from a mild sprain to a full tear of these tissues. Because of the relative inaccessibility of these tissues, they typically go untreated. 

Treatment protocols unique to Neurosomatic Therapy take these very important muscles into account when dealing with whiplash pain. The most important muscles in the neck are the longus colli and longus capitis. Injury to these muscles, located deep in the front of the neck, can result in muscle spasm that contributes to loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine resulting in a straight or “military” neck or even a reverse curve of this region of the spine. The subsequent pressures on the structures of the spine can result in herniated discs that compress the spinal cord and nerve roots. Often, pain that is felt on the back side of the neck and in the head originates in the longus colli and the longus capitis. The ability to measure imbalances in these muscles and specifically treat them is a key facet of Neurosomatic Therapy’s ability to treat whiplash injury quickly and effectively. Once the spasm in the front of the cervical spine is relieved proper alignment can be restored, relieving pain that could otherwise become chronic