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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

WHIPLASH INJURY RESULTS IN SUSTAINED IMPAIRMENTS

WHIPLASH INJURY RESULTS IN SUSTAINED IMPAIRMENTS



Persistent functional loss is common with neck injuries, particularly in those following motor vehicle collisions. In a recent paper by Krogh et al, (2018) the authors examined long term consequences from whiplash injury.




They stated, “Whiplash injuries from car accidents can result in long- term disabilities in the individual, with resulting considerable societal costs. The after-effects of whiplash injury have been investigated extensively, but not much is known about the long-term effect of these injuries on neck muscle functioning, or the role that neck muscle function plays in the process of recovery after whiplash injuries. This paper provides evidence that: (i) some areas of neck muscle function are affected for at least one year after the injury; and (ii) whiplash-exposed individuals who recover (are able to return within one year to pre-injury work routines) present with much better neck muscle function than those who do not.” [page 548]

The authors continued by reporting, “Half of those exposed to whiplash injuries will still report symptoms years after the injury and more than 20% will still not be considered recovered after 5 years.” [page 548] These types of findings put the clinical focus on early diagnosis and management of long-term symptoms. The authors continued by showing, “It is evident that impaired cervical functioning after whiplash injuries is widespread and persistent, and its etiology may be multifactorial across psychophysiological areas. It is likely that WADs, such as pain, neck stiffness and catastrophic thinking after injury, result in a behavior of muscular inactivity, which, in turn, leads to physiological degeneration and further pain and psychological impacts.” [page 554]

Working with a healthcare provider that has the expertise to not only diagnose these injuries, but the training to manage and document their long-term effects.


Reference:

1. Krogh, S., & Kasch, H. (2018). Whiplash injury results in sustained impairments of cervical muscle function: a one-year prospective, controlled study. Journal of rehabilitation medicine, 50(6), 548-555.



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