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Neck
Whiplash

Are you Looking for a Solution for your Whiplash?

Have you suffered a whiplash injury?

How is it affecting your ability to work? Your ability to concentrate? Your ability to feel normal around your family and friends? Or even your ability to sleep?

Have you had all yours CTs and MRIs come back as normal? Or have you been told that “it’s just soft tissue damage?”

Have you googled “whiplash specialist near me,” but still not found the solution you’re looking for?

When it comes to whiplash and neck pain, just because you don’t have any broken bones - and even if there isn’t any blood - it doesn’t mean that everything is “normal.”

Yes, the symptoms of a whiplash injury do take time to resolve. However, if you feel like you’ve run into a brick wall and not making further progress, it could be because there is something else wrong with your neck that is holding you back.

So let me ask you: since the injury, have you had any specific treatment for your neck? And not simply exercises, stretches, massage or manipulation. Have you had your neck examined by an upper cervical chiropractor who focuses specifically on the relationship between the bones in your neck and your nervous system?

If you haven’t - and if you are serious about finding a for natural, non-invasive solution to help with your recovery - keep reading please. We may be able to help you.

What no one has ever told you about Whiplash

Whiplash is not a simple soft-tissue injury to the neck. In my experience, whiplash is a complex injury involving soft tissues (muscles and ligaments), hard tissues (bones and joints) and also the most important tissue in your body: your brainstem, your spinal cord and the nerves in your neck.

Any sudden injury that causes your head to snap forwards and backwards is a whiplash injury. It doesn’t not have to be a car accident.

Whiplash injuries include roller coasters, bungee jumping, trampoline falls, sports tackles, rock/metal concerts (i.e., headbanging) … the list goes on! Often, it is the “low speed” accidents (including minor fender benders) that can actually cause the most damage.

One way or another, when the force goes directly into your body unimpeded, it can tear the muscles, ligaments, and discs in your neck; it can dislodge the alignment of the joints in your neck; and it can stretch the nerves in your neck as well.

Many of these tears are what are called “Grade I” sprains/strains. These types of injuries are seldom visible on CTs or MRIs, but can still certainly cause a significant degree of pain or other neurological symptoms.

What is the Role of your Upper Neck in Whiplash?

The alignment of the top two bones in your neck - the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) - is critical for the healthy function of your central nervous system. Most people don’t realise that your brainstem actually descends into your neck at the level of the C1 and C2 vertebrae at the base of your skull.

If the top of your neck is misaligned due to injury such as whiplash, the bones in your upper neck can also physically tug on your brainstem and spinal cord, potentially compromising normal nervous system function.

The “increases mechanical sensitisation” can lead to a wide variety of pain syndromes including headaches, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome or other “pains into the shoulders and hands,” jaw problems and even other neurological disorders such as fibromyalgia or post concussion syndrome (i.e., fatigue, inability to focus, mood changes and sleeping difficulties).

Can Upper Cervical Care Help your Whiplash?

Here’s the part you may find most important if you are suffering from neck pain or a whiplash injury: the process I’ve just described does not appear on CT or MRI scans! Yes, you may be able to see muscle and ligament damage on your neck scans. However, it takes that extra bit of knowledge to understand what is happening with the stuff that you can’t see in order to truly understand the true nature of your condition and your potential for recovery,

It is why I emphasise that whiplash is not a simple soft tissue injury.

When it comes to whiplash treatment, if you have been receiving physiotherapy, massage, osteopathy and general chiropractic care, great! They can all make a big difference.

However, if you are still experiencing difficulties, it is possible that there is something else going on with the alignment of your neck that requires specialised attention. If so, here is where upper cervical care may be able to help you with your whiplash injury

Blair upper cervical care is a unique method of chiropractic developed in the USA that focuses on the alignment of the C1 and C2 vertebrae without neck cracking or spinal manipulation. Upper cervical care is a precise and personalised approach that uses a detailed neurological and structural analysis first determine the true condition or your neck in order to develop a care plan that will assist your body to heal, strengthen and stabilise with least necessary intervention for greatest long-term outcomes.

Have you Tried Upper Cervical Care to Help your Whiplash?

When you learn the true nature of whiplash - that it isn’t simple neck pain, but has an underlying neurological element that also requires attention - it allows you to take additional important measures that allow you to find the help you are looking for.

So yes, continue to work on soft tissue rehab, mobilisation and exercises for the lower neck and shoulder. But also be certain that your C1 and C2 are properly aligned. It may well be the missing link in your search for find a solution for your situation.

For all the challenges associated with whiplash, remember that the core the problem is one that is both structural and neurological. So even if you’ve tried general chiropractic and been to “whiplash specialists,” if you have not tried a Blair upper cervical care, it could be the most important things you can do to help your neck pain or other whiplash symptoms.

If you or a loved one is looking for a natural, non-invasive solutions to help with whiplash injuries or neck pain, contact our practice in North Lakes at 07 3188 9329 to speak with one of our doctors of chiropractic about how we can help you. If you are outside of the Brisbane area, still feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to help find you a qualified doctor in your area.

References

Armstrong BS, McNair PJ, Williams M. Head and neck position sense in whiplash patients and healthy individuals and the effect of the cranio-cervical flexion action. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2005 Aug;20(7):675-84. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15963617

Damadian RV, Chu D. The possible role of cranio-cervical trauma and abnormal CSF hydrodynamics in the genesis of multiple sclerosis. Physiol Chem Phys Med NMR. 2011;41:1-17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21970155

Freeman MD, Rosa S, Harshfield D et al. A case-control study of cerebellar tonsillar ectopia (Chiari) and head/neck trauma (whiplash). Brain Inj. 2010;24(7-8):988-94. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20545453

Häggman-Henrikson B, Rezvani M, List T. Prevalence of whiplash trauma in TMD patients: a systematic review. J Oral Rehabil. 2014 Jan;41(1):59-68. doi: 10.1111/joor.12123. Epub 2013 Dec 30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24443899

Hallgren RC, Andary MT. Undershooting of a neutral reference position by asymptomatic subjects after cervical motion in the sagittal plane. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2008 Sep;31(7):547-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.08.011.

Heikkilä HV, Wenngren BI. Cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility, active range of cervical motion, and oculomotor function in patients with whiplash injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1998 Sep;79(9):1089-94. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9749689

Lampa E, Wänman A, Nordh E, Häggman-Henrikson B. Effects on jaw function shortly after whiplash trauma. J Oral Rehabil. 2017 Dec;44(12):941-947. doi: 10.1111/joor.12571. Epub 2017 Oct 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28891205

Rix GD, Bagust J. Cervicocephalic kinesthetic sensibility in patients with chronic, nontraumatic cervical spine pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Jul;82(7):911-9.

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