I've got Whiplash, what can I do about it?
There are a number of treatments listed below that have been used in the field of whiplash medicine. These are included simply as ideas for the surfer, and not recommendations. They should all be discussed with a qualified and competent medical practitioner before being attempted.
Very detailed site with a wealth of information (over 6000 pages: Research articles; detailed anatomy diagrams; explanations how to read x-rays and MRIs, details of those involved in whiplash research, step-by-step self diagnostic, search facility. Members area, but lots of info available for non members.
Useful guideline of all the main treatment possibilities for whiplash sufferers. What different tests should (or not) show, possible benefits of different treatments, drugs, types of surgery. Load of information (about 25 pages).
FACET NEUROTOMIES (ZYGAPOPHYSEAL NEUROTOMY/RHIZOTOMY)
Studies reveal that approximately 60% of whiplash sufferers with chronic neck pain have damaged one or more of the facet joints in the neck. To find out more about this visit my other website at www.facetinjury.8m.net or try the links below.
Online issues of Recovery magazine. Several interesting articles on WAD including:
Nikolai Bogduk in Fact vs. Fiction outlines the "Compression Loading" theory of whiplash. Looks at the common symptoms of whiplash, and treatment studies (most notably diagnostic blocks and facet neurotomies of cervical z-joints for chronic pain). Argues against the "no claim no pain" assertion.
Linda Carroll in Vicious Cycle examines how to break the cycle of pain, depression, and dysfunction after whiplash.
Robert W Teassell in The Denial of Chronic Pain, refutes the long held assumption that soft tissue injuries heal after six weeks. Joins in the support for the neurotomy treatment. Argues for studies showing that psychological problems are secondary to, and not causative of, WAD. Points to flaws in the "no claim no pain" argument.
Pages of the International Spinal Injection Society giving brief outlines to a number of techniques for the diagnosis of spinal pain: discogram; neurotomy ; epidural; Selective Nerve Root Block; Sympathetic Nerve Block; Costovertebral joint block; stellate ganglion block. Click on "For Patients".
Daniel J Murphy looks in detail at studies relating to facet neurotomies (zygapophysial joint neurotomies/ percutaneous radiofrequency neurotomy)
Study titled: "Whiplash injuries and neurotomy: a pain in the neck for patients, researchers, clinical providers, and the automobile insurance industry." Positive assessment of the efficacy of neurotmoy as "effective versus placebo (in) carefully selected patients with chronic neck pain following whiplash injury". This is a direct download (only takes a few seconds) of a PDF file which requires an acrobat reader. You can download the free reader here or pay for the full version.
For UK users - if you are looking for a doctor to perform the neurotomy procedure, a Dr Greenslade in Bristol's Chesterfield Hospital can be contacted through the Nuffield group. The price I was quoted here is the cheapest I could find.
Site detailing all aspects of back pain: common problems; possible treatments; surgical procedures explained; "conservative" (non-surgical) treatments; interactive spine animations to play with (these do take a while to load, and require Shockwave which can be downloaded free on the page or by clicking here). You can E-mail a question to a spine specialist (no time-scale for reply is indicated). There is a section specific to whiplash; just use the drop-down menu and select Auto Accidents. Sections detailing common terms in backcare such as: bone spurs; failed back syndrome; disc herniation; fibromyalgia (for sites dedicated to this try http://fibrohugs.com/ or Fibromyalgia Links).
Slide show about whiplash, detailed section about disc surgery. (Flash player required). Need Flash? Click here.
No prizes for guessing what this site is about... Below are a few pages I picked out.
This page lists pain management clinics worldwide.
A useful page giving simple explanations of numerous terms used in pain medicine. Um, I don't mean medicine that gives you pain, but...you know what I mean.
Here you can post a question to a pain specialist or read existing queries and answers.
This is a video found on partnersagainstpain.com of several patients discussing their efforts in combating pain. Its about 11 minutes long and can be watched on-line using Realplayer. (Go here if you haven't got Realplayer.)
Home page of the Mensana clinic that specializes in the treatment of chronic pain.
JCD Wells goes through the procedures that are widely used in chronic pain management. This is a potentially useful read to help understand what you might expect from a pain management clinic or doctor.
American chiropractic firm advocating chiropractic treatment in dealing with headaches.
Page of the Freiberg Spine Institute. Very useful page explaining numerous medical terms in areas such as: anatomy; tests, conditions, procedures. Further institute pages on chiropractic treatment and general back ailments.
MISCELLANEOUS TREATMENTS AND AILMENTS
Explanation of what TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome) is and possible treatments, particularly Myofascial release techniques.
The International Association of Healthcare Practitioners
site has a lot of information on a number of complementary medicines, such as:
explains "osteopathic manual medicine" in the treatment of a myriad of
A useful site for finding information about prescribed drugs. A comprehensive search facility contains both clinical drug names and worldwide brand names. Detailed information lets you find out everything from side effects to price of the drug to its exact chemical formula (should you really really want to know this - no getting out the junior scientist kits and trying to make your own please!)
This site details the potential benefits of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) in the relief of pain from whiplash (or other injuries).
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is a condition affecting the shoulder, arm and hand - to find out more about it go here.
Another site dealing with fibromyalgia, it details the efforts of one woman's research in attempting to find answers to her (primarily) thyroid related problems. Lots of information and links to other sites.
WAD - Whiplash Associated Disorders, the term more correctly used for whiplash injuries.
Neurotomy - - (Percutaneous Radiofrequency Neurotomy/Rhizotomy; Facet neurotomy; Zygapophysial/z-joint neurotomy). A procedure recommended by leading WAD authorities for relief of pain from the facet joints (injured it is believed in approximately 60% of whiplash cases). A needle is inserted next to the two nerves coming off the joint and a radiofrequency is used to burn a tiny hole which disconnects the joints from the brain, eliminating the pain for an average of 12-14 months. Diagnostic blocks are first used to test the potential results of the procedure. In this, an anesthetic is injected to numb the two nerves near the suspected damaged facet joint - pain relief indicates that a neurotomy will be successful. A second diagnostic block is done at a later date for confirmation. This process is one that should only be considered for chronic pain following an injury - generally speaking it is only applicable in cases where there has been no improvement in symptoms for a period of three months or more. Go to this site to find out more.
MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging. An imaging technique used to produce high quality images of the inside of the body.
"No claim no pain" - Common whiplash myth that pain is only present in whiplash sufferers who pursue an insurance claim. Modern studies consistently deny this myth.
Myofascial - technique used to release tight muscles in the jaw allowing normal alignment of the temporal mandibular joint (Jaw bone to the rest of us).