Whiplash injury occurs usually in a road traffic accident, for example, where a driver or passenger is hit from behind, and his/her head moves rapidly forward, (hyper-flexion) and then rapidly back, (hyper-extension).
These movements cause pain in the neck and surrounding tissues, (muscles, tendons, ligaments and/or discs).
Headache, dizziness, disorientation and inability to concentrate are other symptoms, which the patient may present with, along with restriction of movement in the neck.
The patient may even report that their symptoms change! Pain may occur in one area one day and be in another area the next day.
The Osteopath should examine the whole spine as the whole spine functions as one. Dysfunction in one area may cause dysfunction in another area, for example the pelvis and lower back.
The Osteopath will identify any area of: intervertebral disc injury; restriction in joint movement; ligamentous sprain; muscular spasm and tenderness.
The Osteopath will also examine the way you walk, taking note of your posture and spinal alignment to help with the diagnostic process and understanding your body’s mechanism.
Depending on the nature of your injury and presenting symptoms, the Osteopath may refer you to have a MRI scan or X-ray, to get a clearer picture of damaged structures, such as broken bones or herniated discs.
It is rare for the referral though as the Osteopath’s stringent case history taking and examinations, for example, joint active and passive range of motion, orthopedic musculoskeletal tests and muscular active resistance tests, to name a few, should display a clear picture to confidently assess the damage incurred, enabling the formation of an effective, personalized treatment plan.
TREATMENT FOR WHIPLASH:
To objective is to reduce pain and gain full range of motion in the neck and associated joints. Treatment will depend on the individual and severity of the whiplash injury.
The Osteopath may use joint articulation, mobilization or manipulation techniques to get the spine and associated joints functioning at optimum level. The Osteopath may also use neuro-muscular techniques, electrotherapy or acupuncture for example, to release the spasm in muscles, decreasing the pressure on the spine and pelvis, as well as hot and cold therapy to decrease the inflammation in joints.
To discuss treatment options, please free to contact:
Zahir Chaudhary, BA (Hons), BSc (Hons), ND, M Ost.Med. MSCCO
Call: 0208 423 6209; 0792 100 4705
Chelsea Osteopaths, 208 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London. SW10 9PJ.
Harrow Osteopathic Clinic, 9 Littleton Road, Harrow, Middlesex. HA1 3SY.
Wembley Osteopaths, 31 Norval Road, North Wembley, Middlesex. HA0 3TD.
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