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Whiplash is a sprain or strain of muscles in the neck or the back due to a sudden acceleration or deceleration.
While most of us think of whiplash as something you get from a car accident, it can happen anywhere. Skiers who "face plant" often get whiplash as their head is rapidly pushed back. Whiplash is recognizable by very tight muscles and lots of pain. People with whiplash in their necks are often unable to move their heads at all.
The reason that so many muscles are affected by whiplash is due to some safety mechanisms built into our muscles. If muscles are getting stretched too rapidly, our body will automatically cause that muscle to contract. To safely see this phenomenon in action,. find two grocery bags with handles. In one of them put something heavy, like a bag of flour. In the other one, put in something light, like a bag of chips. Now, mix up the bags, and pick one up. If you picked up the light bag, everything's fine and you lift the bag normally. If you grabbed the heavy bag and were expecting it to be light, your arm and shoulder would start to stretch out unexpectedly because the bag is heavy. Your body will automatically "turn up the volume" on your muscles and give you the strength to life the bag.
When your head is whipped around due to a sudden acceleration/deceleration, some muscles in your neck will get stretched very rapidly. Your body will signal them to contract. Unfortunately, in a whiplash situation, the force of your head whipping around is stronger than your neck muscles, so the muscles lose. On the rebound from the initial whip, the muscles are now contracting with force in the same direction as your head is moving, so your head rebounds extremely fast. This causes the muscles on the other side of your neck to be stretched too quickly, causing similar damage. As a result, a neck whiplash can involve what seems to be every single muscle in the neck.
The soft tissue injury may include:
- Tears in the muscle tissue of the Trapezious and Levator Scapula
- Damage of the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament
- Disc problems (occasionally)
- The brachial plexus goes through the Trapesious and may also be affected
Because it is a soft tissue injury X-rays do not show signs of whiplash.
- Pain n neck
- Headaches up the back of the skull
- Poor memory and loss of concentration
- Blurred vision
- Numbness down the arm (parathesia)
- Lack of grip
- Waking up tired
- Restlessness in bed, unable to find comfortable position
- Lack of rotation on head
- Head shunted forward
- Kyphosis may persist years after the injury
Medical Massage Treatment
The good news is that your therapeutic massage sessions can help to get rid of your whiplash pain. Medical Massage will balance musculoskeletal distortion in your body in order to eliminate your whiplash symptoms.
Once the body is balanced, the patient is able to restore an efficient way for energy to move. Free energy is used by the body to work more efficiently and improves all physiological activities.
On the first visit the therapist evaluates the patient by screening gait patterns and measuring the positioning of the body to determine musculoskeletal distortion, biomechanical dysfunction and soft tissue pathology that causes these patterns. An exacting analysis of proper posture and biomechanics explains the cause and effect relationship to pain. Once we know how your body works, we can determine the reason why you have pain and the other symptoms.
Then the therapist develops a treatment plan that is based on the knowledge of your body. We don’t guess, we know how to treat you because of exact analysis of your body and understanding of your problem. Your therapeutic massage treatment is custom designed for you because we apply pressure and specific techniques that are unique only for your body. That’s why our treatment for your Whiplash at Holistic Medical Massage Clinic in Tacoma is effective and different from others.