Whiplash

All traumatic experiences call for an analysis of what has append to body physiology and what course of action is to be undertaken to treat the problems that have arisen as a result.

The term whiplash refers to a type of energy to which a patient is subjected, often in a rapid acceleration or a rapid deceleration, or a combination of both. Because the force isn’t merely something that occurred to the body, but is one of the environment factor that functions with the body, we can find evidence of an accident 10 to 30 years after its occurrence. On the other hand, compensating mechanisms can show whiplash injury symptoms after weeks, months or years.

The whiplash type of injury can occur in many forms, but I want to underline that the automobile-induced whiplash involves more than the cervical area. The total body physiology, from the soles of the feet to the top of the head is subjected to the whiplash energies.

If the person is in an upright position looking forward, his normal flexion-extension mechanisms will bear the brunt of the force in front and at the rear-end side collisions and his side bending mechanisms in side collisions. If his head is turned to one side or the other, fascial planes will be subjected to additional torsional effects. If he is the driver and his foot are on the brake or accelerator, the force field will have more direct application on the pelvis.  The seat belt, otherwise extremely helpful, provides a fulcum restricting the pelvis or the chest. Other sites of demage particular to the individual are the crossover areas of the various scoliotic patterns of the spinal curvatures.

Otherwise any case and any situation is different from an other, we need to point the fact that we are a continuum of facial tissues. The basiocciput is fastened to the cervical vertebrae through the anterior longitudinal ligament, and through it they are attached to thoracic vertebrae. This ligament is finally attached to the sacrum. The posterior longitudinal ligament extends from the occipital bone above to the coccyx below. Thus, ligamentous articular strains occur in the the thoracic and cervical areas and to the occiput and the sacrum. Membranous strains and stress can also occur in and around the occipital area, influencing the mobility and vitality of cranic membranes, bones, the fluctuation of the cerebrospinal fluid and eventually the central nervous system function.

Traumatic case histories: they serve to illustrate the different applications of energy forms upon each problem.

Case 1: a man in his middle thirties came in with a complaint of shoulder pains, brachial neuralgia, and recurrent stiff neck over a period of 18 months.Shortly before all this trouble began, he had taken an engine out of his car. The force of the lifting strain had locked the sacrum. Resolving the force factor and integrating the normal function of the sacrum released the problem.

Case  2. A lady in her twenties was in a car accident in which her left ankle sustained a compound fracture. When the problem was supposedly healed, she was left, for one year since the accident, with a generalized swelling of the right limb from the pelvis to the foot during the day, with subsidence at night.Osteopathic examination revealed ligamentous strains in the right iliosacral area. In fact, at the time of the accident, she had been asleep in the back seat, curled on her right side.

Case 3: A man with a severe vagal syndrome (one o two times a month, lasting few days). He suffered a fracturated skull, among other injuries. It took several visits before a good recovery. He reports now one o two minor episodes per year.

Case 4: 39-years old man who, 2 years before the first osteopathic treatment, had lifted some 100-pound sacks and suffered of disabling low back pain. He was scheduled to go to surgery for a low back fusion operation. His radiographic summary was: 1. spondylolisthesis, 2. disks degeneration, 3. diffused arthrosis. He had 28 treatments in 5 months and ones a months for the next 5 months. In that time there was a complete resolution. He could even ride horseback. He was sent to an other radiologist for a survey of his problem. The radiologist report was a duplicate of the the first, yet there has been no recurrence of his symptoms in the past 6 years.

-extract from “life in motion’, D.O. R.E. Backer-