Some Info On Whiplash From Automobile Accidents

According to an estimate of the National Safety Council, there were 11,900,000 motor vehicle accidents in the United States in 1993. Of these, 2,750,000 were rear-end collisions. Although the precise number of whiplash injuries per year cannot be determined, a rather rough estimate is more than one million. Nearly one-third of all motor vehicle accidents are rear-end collisions, and it is this type of accident that is responsible for most whiplash injuries. — RW Evans

A couple of years ago, I completed a Distance Education course from “The Complete Guide to Whiplash” written by Michael R. Melton, owner of BodyMind Publications and founder of ChiroHosting, and learned what factors and variables—among many other things—are used when determining the difference between an accident with no injury and an accident with serious injury. They include…

  • The angle of the collision
  • The speed and size of the rear car
  • The speed and size of the front car
  • Road conditions
  • Occupant head position
  • Gender
  • Occupant awareness
  • Head restraints
  • Safety belts
  • Secondary collisions
  • Direct body impact
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Medical history
  • Pain onset

As you can see there are many variables involved, and believe it or not, each crash possesses its own characteristics.

According to an equation related to the physics of acceleration, the less a car is damaged or crushed in a collision, the higher the acceleration of the struck vehicle and the greater the risk of injury. — MC Robbins

That being said, it is crucial that a complete history be examined in order to help a whiplash patient recover quickly and easily. Following are some physical and psychological symptoms also found in The Complete Guide to Whiplash…

PHYSICAL

PSYCHOLOGICAL

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Substance abuse

Per Michael’s book, one of the most common claims made by insurance companies is that whiplash injuries heal within six weeks and that care after that time is unnecessary. While many patients do recover within this six-week period, many studies show that between 20-30% have symptoms that last one year or more. In addition, studies also show that some symptoms may even take days or weeks to develop after an accident; however, insurance companies will often attempt to discredit a patient’s symptoms if they aren’t reported at the time of the accident; as if malingering.

It is very difficult for an ingenuine individual to fake a profile typical of a whiplash patient. — BJ Wallis

I wanted to write this post because I have had several clients over the years, whom suffered from whiplash as a result of an automobile accident, and eventually became pain-free using Precision Neuromuscular Therapy (PNMT) techniques. Although PNMT won’t necessarily treat every single symptom that was mentioned above, it can help with muscular-skeletal imbalances, which can cause many that were mentioned.

Here are some other great resources related to whiplash from automobile accidents:
The Neck Disability Index (NDI) Study
T
he NDI Questionnaire
The Crash Pulse in Rear-End Car Accidents
The National Crash Analysis Center
Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstruction and Biomechanical Physics

As always, I hope you found this information to be informative!

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“Neutral balance alignment is key to becoming pain free!”™ ~ Me

TMD: Temporomandibular Disorder

The arrow is intended to point at the general area.

Since I am trained to treat TMJ pain and dysfunction related to the temporomandibular joint—which also happens to be something that many people suffer from; yours truly included—I decided this would be a great topic for today’s post.

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) rears it’s ugly head when there are problems with the jaw, jaw joint(s), and/or when surrounding facial muscles are imbalanced. This disorder is often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint… And every single one of us has two.

What is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)? The TMJ is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on both sides of our head. (You can feel them move by placing your fingers where I just mentioned while opening and closing your mouth.)

The joints are flexible, which allows us to move our jaw smoothly; up-and-down, side-by-side. The joints make it possible for us to talk, chew, and yawn. The muscles connected to the joints make it possible for us to control the position and movement of our jaw.

What Causes TMD? Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck—such as from a heavy blow, a fall, or whiplash—can cause TMD. Repetitive movements can adaptively shorten the surrounding muscles causing it as well. Other possible causes include:

  • Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the joints
  • Dislocation of the disc between the ball and socket
  • Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the joints
  • Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth

What Are The Symptoms of TMD? People with TMD can experience severe pain and discomfort that may be temporary or last for many years. Common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
  • Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
  • Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint, which may or may not be accompanied by pain, when opening/closing the mouth or chewing
  • A tired feeling in the face
  • Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite—as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
  • Swelling on the side of the face
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Pain and paresthesia in the upper extremities
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Toothaches
  • May occur on one or both sides of the face
  • Ear symptoms

Ear symptoms associated with TMD include:

  • Fullness in the ears
  • Tinnitis (ringing in the ears)
  • Ear pain
  • Hearing problems such as ubjective hearing loss
  • The sensation of itching in the ears

TMD PREVALENCE
About 75% of the population has a least one sign, and 33% has at least one symptom. The age range at presentation is normally in the region of 16-30 years, but often persists for two or more decades.
Gender bias = 4:1 female.
AAOP TMD Guidelines: 1990, ’93, ’96

On another note, it is VERY important that I mention this… A sudden onset of severe pain within the jaw could indicate a heart attack. This is more common with females. Please keep this in mind for yourself and your loved ones as it could potentially save a life!

As always, I hope you find this information informative!

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“Neutral balance alignment is key to becoming pain free!”™ ~ Me