THE WHIPLASH SITE
Real information for victims of Whiplash
IS VERY REAL!
SYMPTOMS ARE PREDICTABLE
PROBLEMS CAN BE PERMANENT
GOOD CARE IS OUT THERE, IT IS UP TO YOU TO GET IT!
I will be dedicating this site to providing real information on whiplash injuries, what whiplash is, how it affects your body and mind, what to expect with this injury, what treatments are effective and nutritional support that can speed recovery remarkably. There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation on whiplash type injuries out there. Whiplash is very real, with predictable symptoms and course of recovery. Without proper treatment there is a very high probability of long term consequences and I want people to know this and what it takes to help prevent this condition from creating permanent problems.
THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT FOR YOU TO REMEMBER!
Q: Isn't whiplash a sort of exaggerated or faked phenomenon in
most cases. I have heard that most people are just trying to get money and claim
all sorts of problems that don't exist.
Q: I am having headaches since my accident but I had headaches
before too. I can't see how they can be attributed to the accident.
Q: Isn't it true that whiplash is essentially "self limiting"?
Meaning it will get better with or without treatment.
That is the reason for my passion about whiplash education. This type of injury to the delicate and extremely important structures in the neck can have far reaching, permanent effect and THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE. There ARE effective treatments for whiplash but the quality of care varies tremendously. There is also a lot of ignorance and misinformation, partly because for so long medical doctors classed this as a primarily psychological or fake problem. Even with the amount of research showing this is not true and that whiplash is a very real injury, some of those attitudes still prevail.
Below are a few of the symptoms to look for. If you had a symptom to some degree before, apply the principals above to compare before and after the auto accident. I tried to list these in the order of most common but that can vary some from cases to case. Some of these are obvious but many people never associate them with a whiplash, especially if they don't appear for days, weeks or months after the auto accident.
Remember - Look objectively how you are NOW. How severe, how often, how much it interferes with your life makes you irritable etc. Then picture your life a month or two before the accident and look at that objectively. What symptoms, how bad, how often, were they interfering with your life. Compare that to now to get an idea of what the accident and whiplash injury has actually caused. Don't try to be "right" about whether you were injured or not, just look at the facts without minimizing or exaggerating any changes you have observed. Minimizing whiplash is the most common as most people are afraid they will be seen as a faker or exaggerating their symptoms. Since very few people are aware of what the symptoms of whiplash truly are, people will often discount what they are feeling or assume it is unrelated to the injury.
DON'T GET DISCOURAGED BY THIS LIST, ALL OF THESE CAN BE HELPED WITH PROPER TREATMENT
1. Neck Pain - this can be anything from a mild ache and stiffness to severe pain especially with movement. This is the most common whiplash complaint but almost never the only complaint.
2. Restricted movement of the neck. Perhaps overall stiffness and limited motion, sometimes you can turn or bend your head one way but not another. Immediately following an auto accident and whiplash injury the neck may be very stiff as the muscles "guard" it from movement so the injured areas are not aggravated. Later, chronic spasm, pain and points of internal scar tissue restrict movement.
3. Palpable inflammation of the neck. This means you can feel the heat and sometimes swelling over the areas of the neck injured, when compared to the temperature of the rest of the body. This is usually most apparent early, especially during the first six weeks following a whiplash. This indicates that the whiplash caused torn and/or bruised tissue. Ruptured cells (tears) release chemicals that start the inflammatory process. The reason there can be tears is that during a whiplash injury the head and neck move faster than the muscles can adapt to. Since the muscles cannot lengthen fast enough to accommodate the movement, you can get small tears along muscles, tendons, ligaments and other tissue.
4. Headaches - again compare using the questions above.
5. Short term memory problems or less ability to focus and concentrate. This is present to some degree in most whiplash victims! Sometimes this shows up as getting disoriented or lost when you didn't used to. Also some people find they have less ability to handle numbers or other facets of their work, sometimes even a mild form of dyslexia or getting things backwards more than usual. Sometimes less awareness of where your body is in space which results in bumping into corners, desks etc.
6. Mood changes including irritability, "fragile" emotions, nervousness driving or even riding in a car, changes in personality etc. Ask your spouse or close friends and don't discount what they say about changes they have observed. It's harder to tell about these changes yourself than it is for someone to observe them. Again these changes are extremely common after an auto accident and are not something most people know to watch for. I used to run an ad about whiplash that started "YOU'RE NOT NUTS!"
7. Numbness or tingling in arms or hands. This comes both from the malfunctioning neck vertebra, the swelling and the chemical changes from inflamed tissue in the neck.
8. Low Back Pain - If you had some low back problems when you got in the auto accident, then you will likely experience a worsening of this within a couple of weeks. If you were not having significant low back problems when you got in the accident then it will likely start right about 2 months after the auto accident. The neck and low back are very interdependent. The spasm and malfunction in the neck will eventually reflect itself in the low back as well.
9. Sciatica or numbness and tingling in the legs or feet. - This can accompany low back problems for the same reason as numbness and tingling in the arms can accompany neck problems. The whiplash has either directly injured the nerve roots, or more likely, the inflammation, swelling and joint dysfunction from the whiplash injured tissue is irritating or compressing the nerve roots.
10. FATIGUE As with the mood and memory problems this is often caused by the inflammation affecting your brain. It can be a physical tiredness or can be one of the ways depression shows up.
11. Immune system problems. Often showing up as increased allergies or allergies you have never had before. This can also show up as increased susceptibility to colds, flu etc. Sometimes you just don't get over colds or flu as easily or they turn into bronchitis when they didn't used to. I see this in a fairly large percentage of whiplash cases. For instance I personally became allergic to poison ivy for the first time in my life after a severe whiplash and remained so for almost two years.
12. There are LOTS of other symptoms associated with whiplash so don't count anything out if it is something that appeared or got worse after your auto accident.