Whiplash symptoms are the most common injuries following car accidents. Whiplash, also known as: neck pain, soft tissue injury, "MIST" (Minor Impact Soft Tissue) injury, cervical muscle strain or ligament sprain, muscle pain or cervical spine injury. Whiplash can also be termed a "syndrome" due to its frequent involvement with headaches, shoulder pain and interscapular (between the shoulder blades) pain. It is important to know that whiplash can occur from even low velocity collisions. The reason is that the kinetic energy (force) of a car is very high, even at five miles per hour, due to the large mass of the car. This energy is transferred to the occupants (passengers) of the vehicle and is actually more violent if the cars do not deform (dent), which is often the case in low impact collisions. Therefore, even if you were in a low-impact accident that was enough to cause a whiplash effect, It is advisable to get checked to make sure problems don't develop later on.
As stated previously, whiplash can effect the cervical spine (vertebrae) causing injury to the intervertebral discs which can cause radiating pain, tingling, numbness or pins and needles into the arm, hand or fingers, facet and uncinate joints causing local neck or shoulder pain, the muscles attaching to the neck and midback such as the: trapezius, scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae, interscapular, rhomboid or paravertebral causing trigger points or referred symptoms into the arms. Damage to the Scalene muscles, presence of a "first rib" in the cervical spine or irritation of the collar bone can cause a condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). Symptoms of TOS can be surprisingly similar to other conditions such as: cervical nerve irritation, cervical disc bulging or herniation. It is important to correctly diagnose the cause of the symptoms because the treatment options may be vastly different.
Other Whiplash Symptoms:
• Blurred vision
• Difficulty swallowing
• Pain between the shoulder blades
• Pain in the arms or legs, feet and hands
• Low back pain and/or stiffness
• Shoulder pain
• Ringing in the ears
• Numbness and tingling
• Pain in the jaw or face
Although the majority of Whiplash injuries occur as a result of motor vehicle, auto or car accidents, it is still possible to get "whiplash" from sports injuries or any injuries in which your body was suddenly "jerked" forward. Whiplash can been given the unfortunate term due to its similarity with the action of a bull whip. Any trauma which causes a rapid acceleration-deceleration of the neck can be diagnosed as whiplash.
Dr. Jon Widenbaum, D.C., located in Dublin treats whiplash by first diagnosing the cause of the symptoms. Typically, patients with Whiplash Disorder are treated by gentle spinal manipulation or mobilization in the neck or mid back. Physiotherapy modalities such as: massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, spinal traction, Spinal Decompression, therapeutic exercises and stretches can help in different stages of the healing process.