Whiplash typically involves an injury to the neck, but it can often include symptoms outside of the cervical region, which is why the term “whiplash associated disorder” (WAD) may be a more appropriate description for the condition. WAD is most commonly associated with car accidents, but other forms of trauma, such as a slip and fall, can also result in WAD. So what makes WAD so unique?
Researchers have divided WAD into three primary classes: WAD I is basically pain with negative examination findings; WAD II includes pain with examination findings such as loss of motion; and WAD III includes the WAD II findings plus neurological losses (altered sensation and/or strength in the arm). There is also a WAD IV that includes fractures and dislocations.
Many patients with a whiplash injury also experience some degree of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can prolong the recovery process. A 2012 study involving patients with severe TBI found the rate of favorable recovery increased 25% in participants who took a vitamin D supplement as part of their treatment plan. Why is that?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble micronutrient that regulates inflammation and skeletal muscle size and function. Due to a systemic inflammatory response (specifically pro-inflammatory cytokines), studies have found that vitamin D levels can drop in the body by as much as 74% within three weeks of a major trauma or following a surgical procedure. This was observed in another study published in 2012 that found 77% of a group of 1,830 trauma patients had deficient or insufficient levels of vitamin D, REGARDLESS of age!
In a 2010 study, researchers examined MRIs taken from 1,200 patients (600 whiplash and 600 non-whiplash neck pain patients) and noted that those who had sustained whiplash were more likely to have a brain injury than non-whiplash neck pain patients.
The specific type of brain injury found is a form of herniation called Chiari malformation, where the bottom part of the brain (the cerebellum) drops through the opening in the base of the skull called the foramen magnum. Their findings showed an alarming 23% of the whiplash cases studied had this anatomical abnormality.
In 2008, a study published in the journal Spine sought to identify EARLY PREDICTORS in an effort to reduce the number of low back pain (LBP) patients who go on to experience long-term disability. Researchers followed 1,885 low back injury claimants for a year and then later reviewed data collected during the first three weeks following their injury to identify anything that might predict a greater risk of work-related disability one year later.
We’ve all seen people working on laptops in airports, airplanes, coffee shops, on the train, walking down the street…you name it! So how does this affect one’s neck, and does it contribute to headaches?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) has a bad reputation for coming and going, sometimes for years, depending on many factors such as 1) age; 2) profession (fast, repetitive, with forceful gripping); 3) general health (diabetes, hypothyroid, and inflammatory arthritis (like rheumatoid), pregnancy, on birth control pills, or taking hormone replacement therapy); 4) hobbies (worse if it’s knitting, crocheting, prolonged use of a computer, or using hand tools a lot); and 5) obesity.
Have you ever wondered “What type of mattress is best for my back?” Between the many types of mattresses available on the market—foam, coiled, water, as well as combinations of all these, not to forget further options between soft, medium, or firm—where do we begin? All of these variables make finding the right one truly difficult!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most common of the many “entrapment neuropathies”— nerve pinches in the arms or legs—likely because we use our hands and fingers repetitively for long time frames at work and during many of our hobbies. In addition, the wrist is a very complicated joint because it’s not a simple ball-and-socket or hinge, like the hip, elbow, or knee.