Whiplash Self Treatment

Introduction to Whiplash

Watch the introduction video below to get a better understanding on how The O’Connor Technique can help people suffering from Whiplash

What Causes the most common form of Whiplash?

The single most common cause of whiplash injuries are violent events of traumatic weight-bearing flexion. These are most often occasioned in head on and rear-end automobile collisions in which the head and body are traveling forward at a great rate of speed only to have the body stop or reverse that direction while the head keeps traveling forward.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

The standard description of whiplash symptoms is presented in WebMD as:

Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. However, people who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • Low back pain
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue (due to chronic unremitting Pain)

In addition to these symptoms, whiplash can also be associated with the sensation of a swelling in the posterior (towards the back) lower regions of the neck or low back or both.  Also, when twisting the head or the upper torso, the ability to look or twist fully to one or both sides is physically impaired.  Also, depression is very commonly associated with chronic, confusing, medically unexplainable, inadequately treated, and unremitting pain.

Interestingly enough, the delayed onset of symptoms of whiplash is not consistent with the standard, conventional, explanation.  For if the pain of whiplash was due to torn or damaged joints, tendons, or ligaments, the pain should be immediate and the onset should come simultaneously with the trauma; however it is not in too many cases to allow the conventional explanation to explain the true pathology.  In fact, in most cases, the pain of whiplash is worse the following day.  Whiplash is worse the next day due to the fact that as the central component (nucleus pulposis) of the intervertebral disc is dislodged, it tears through the structure (the annulus fibrosus) designed to contain it; but since these anatomical structures have no nerve supply, there is no immediate pain.  The pain comes later when a fulcrum-like effect that the displaced piece of disc material exerts on the ligaments that hold the vertebrae together.  The adjacent vertebral bone’s surfaces act as lever arms which stretch the ligaments with the force of a fulcrum .  The reason why there is not pain at the scene of the accident is because the center structure (nucleus pulposus)it tears through the fibrocartilaginous structure (annulus fibrosus) designed to retain it which has no nerve supply so it is incapable of creating pain.

For anyone suffering this type of injury, a good test of whether the healthcare provider understands the mechanics of the injury is to ask of them why there was no pain at the time of injury; if given any other explanation than the absence of nerve supply, there is reason to believe that the healthcare provider doesn’t know enough to adequately treat whiplash.   Then, it is important to ask if a diagnostic circumduction maneuver would help define the nature of the injury.  Again, if the response is ignorance, the provider is taking your money under false pretenses because they are leading you to believe that they are going to help you when, in reality, they can’t even make the diagnosis accurately.

What usually is noticed is that immediately after the collision or trauma there is an  accompanying reduced ability or inability to look over your shoulder which is often recognized and that disproves any theories that you were in “shock” from the stress of the accident.

How can Whiplash be Diagnosed?

The conventional manner in which whiplash is diagnosed is described in WebMD as:

In most cases, injuries are to soft tissues such as the discs, muscles and ligaments, and cannot be seen on standard X rays. Specialized imaging tests, such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be required to diagnose damage to the discs, muscles or ligaments that could be causing the symptoms of whiplash.

Using the self-diagnosis technique described in in Making Your Bad Back Better with The O’Connor Technique a person can determine for themselves that the real source of pain in a whiplash is due to a central fragment of the disc that has been displaced out of the center.

How can Whiplash be Successfully Treated?

The “conventional treatment,” which amounts to “no effective treatment” most likely involves that described in Web MD:

No single treatment has been scientifically proven as effective for whiplash, but pain relief medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), along with gentle exercises, physical therapy, traction, massage, heat, ice, injections and ultrasound, all have been helpful for certain patients.

In the past, whiplash injuries were often treated with immobilization in a cervical collar. However, the current trend is to encourage early movement instead of immobilization. Ice is often recommended for the first 24 hours, followed by gentle, active movement.

Because a mechanical problem has only a mechanical solution, the only effective therapy, which has eluded almost all conventional practitioners, is to physically re-centralize the displaced disc material.  If the problem is very minor and high in the neck, whiplash can be treated by chiropractors; however, one runs the risk of the problem being made worse by the violent “high velocity low amplitude thrust” done by the jerking twist during a chiropractic manipulation.  If it is low in the neck, there method is very ineffective and likely to result in more harm than good.

Alternatively, arrangements for a private consultation with Dr. O’Connor (707-446-0422) so a therapeutic maneuver designed to alleviate pain and restore range of motion can be accomplished with approximately a 90% probability of success.  The treatment involves mechanically re-centralizing the displaced disc material that is described in Making Your Bad Back Better with  The O’Connor Technique.  Obtaining the information on the website backpainoconnor.com and, in a do-it-yourself manner, is relatively inexpensive but more time intensive than a private session.  Whereas, the consultation is successful in an overwhelming percentage of cases but somewhat more expensive, the cost is easily off set by not being forced into the alternative expenses of managing the pain over the course of a lifetime.

What can be expected if whiplash is not managed successfully?

If the whiplash is not managed properly and the displaced disc material is not re-centralized, over time, Kyphosis can occur because the head is listing forward and its weight causes the neck to bend forward.  The forward (anterior) curvature of the spine worsens over time and remodels into permanent abnormal curvature.  If the bulging disc is not returned to its centralized location, it can move successively further towards the periphery and eventually compress one of the nerve roots as they exit the spinal column resulting in partial paralysis of an extremity.  If the kyphosis worsens, the bulging disc material can actually compress the spinal cord causing nerve damage that makes an electrical like shock sensation to the arms and legs, clumsiness, difficulty walking, and loss of the ability to hold objects.

Very few people understand the profound complications of whiplash and the fact that once it occurs the damage is permanent and one is committed to a life long problem.  The disc material may be able to be re-centralized but the secret to prolonged pain relief is acquiring the skill to self-manipulate the disc material back “in” where it belongs immediately whenever and wherever it slips “out.”  By so doing, over time, one can expect a largely pain free existence.   By allowing the “conventional” therapists to take money under the false pretense that they know how to diagnose and treat whiplash commits their patients to nothing more than what is called “conservative management” or better, “benign neglect,” which doesn’t seem so benign when the outcome results in the progression of disease to the point at which surgery must be the last resort.