Whiplash (Motor Vehicle Accident Injury)

Whiplash, also known by its medical term cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) injury, usually occurs when the neck and head are forced backwards and then forwards. This movement causes severe stress on the cervical spine. Whiplash is most commonly caused by car accidents when a person has been hit from behind. Although uncommon, whiplash can also occur from bungee jumping, assault, roller-coasters or falls from high-speed sports such as skiing.

It is not uncommon for whiplash injuries to accompany chest strains (sternum strains) as a result of the direct trauma caused by the restraint of the seatbelt.

Unfortunately, there is still very little known about whiplash dysfunction from current medical research. The approach taken by most medical professionals focuses primary on pain control through medication. We have seen too many clients who have been on very strong and potent pain medication, which incapacitated them from normal daily function and yet still not offering any relief.

 

“What most health practitioners and even medical specialists do not understand is that whiplash injury is not a pure muscle and joint dysfunction. The most frustrating thing for clients is that many medical professionals look at an X-Ray or MRI with minimal findings and have been told there is nothing wrong and simply were dismissed or downplayed. They do not understand and cannot explain how or why the symptoms are behaving the way they are. We have seen clients that feel scared, helpless, angry, frustrated and in despair too many times.  It seems like no one understands them! ” – Leo, Spinal Consultant, The Brisbane Spine Clinic. 

 

Here at The Brisbane Spine Clinic, we understand whiplash injuries more than what’s on the surface. We understand how it impacts your life!

Clinically, we have observed that whiplash dysfunction resembles many features of nerve pain conditions, and many instances can impact on our body’s balance system and visual system as well.

Pain intensity and frequency usually are magnified un-proportionally to the injury, while psychological and social factors have been shown to impact on the symptoms as well.

Usually, a prolonged period of a sustained position (such as sitting, driving, standing, sleeping or walking) and even colder weather can bring on symptoms or aggravate them. Sometimes symptom intensity can fluctuate and some clients may report poor sleep quality, which can also impact on recovery and treatment results.

In certain severe cases, clients may even have flashbacks and nightmares of the motor vehicle accident, or suffer from panic attacks (hyperventilate, distress, pass out) when encountering similar circumstances of the motor vehicle accident. These symptoms may change how your pain behaves and requires professional psychological consults to ensure optimal progress.

We understand you want to improve your quality of life and we work with a wide range of other allied health professionals to look after all facets your health.

whiplash from car accident

Other Possible Causes of Whiplash

  • Bungee Jumping
  • Assault
  • Roller-Coasters
  • Falls from high-speed sports i.e. Skiing

Symptoms of Whiplash

If you’ve experienced whiplash then you may be experiencing neck pain, headaches or dizziness with the intensity of pain varying from mild through to excruciating. Yet depending on the impact and level of damage, you may also experience:

  • Decreased range of motion
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Pins and needles / Tingling
  • Weakness and numbness

It’s important to see our Spine Consultants, Leo or Justin, here at The Brisbane Spine Clinic if you’re suffering any of the above symptoms so we can perform a clinical assessment and provide treatment options specific to your circumstances.

What is the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of Whiplash?

When you present at The Brisbane Spine Clinic for a whiplash-associated disorder, we will undertake a comprehensive assessment where we assess:

  • your physical signs such as any dizziness, vertigo, muscle spasm or numbness.
  • musculoskeletal signs such as decreased movement, tenderness in specific areas
  • neurological signs including weakness or lack of reflexes.

Depending on the results of this assessment, it allows us to recommend the appropriate care pathway for the treatment of whiplash. For example, if you’re experiencing mild pain only as a result of your whiplash then specific neck exercises and other treatments may be adequate.

However, if these symptoms are more severe, we may refer you onto MRI or X-Rays if we suspect serious pathology in your neck or spine such as a fractured vertebra, cervical or lumbar disc injury or damage to the muscles and tendons of the spine.

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Spinal Consultant

Leo-Hyun-Profile

Mr Leo Hyun

  • B.Phty UQ
  • Rehabilitation and injury prevention
  • Sporting injury management
  • Return-to-work rehabilitation
  • Management and prevention of arthritis and other conditions

Why choose our clinic

From the moment you book in for your consultation till the completion of your spinal treatments, you will realise The Brisbane Spine Clinic difference.

  • Peace of mind
  • Trust
  • Clear communication
  • Dedication and commitment
  • Highest level of care
  • Problem-solving approach
  • Second opinions
  • Non-invasive treatment