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Whiplash

It is imperative to understand what other health care treatment protocols involve if we are to make informed decisions regarding the referral of our clients for alternative and/or additional treatment. to facilitate and encourage information sharing, we have presented a case study, looking at a common scenario, to four participating professions.


September 25, 2009
By Massage Therapy Magazine

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It is imperative to understand what other health care treatment protocols involve if we are to make informed decisions regarding the referral of our clients for alternative and/or additional treatment. to facilitate and encourage information sharing, we have presented a case study, looking at a common scenario, to four participating professions. Each representative has independently presented information about their treatment protocol, as well as their profession. The professions are: massage therapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy & chiropractic

whiplash.jpgCase study
Mrs. Jones is a 40-year-old woman working full-time as a data input clerk. She is in fair health and of medium build. She has three children between the ages of five and 10. Mrs. Jones has had no major previous injuries and had surgery three years ago to have her gall bladder removed. She presents with symptoms indicating that a soft tissue injury was sustained to the neck and upper thoracic regions following a car accident one week prior.

Mrs. Jones was driving her Toyota Corolla, and was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the impact. The patient was stopped at an intersection and looking at her front seated passenger when the other vehicle struck her from the rear. The police report supports witness’s estimation that the second vehicle was traveling at an approximate speed of 50 kilometres an hour at the point of impact. She was taken to hospital by ambulance and examined. X-rays indicated that there were no fractures present.

Symptoms presented, in your office, as follows:

  • Significant loss of movement in all ranges of motion of her cervical region (greatest restriction in right rotation and lateral flexion);
  • Mild to moderate pain (she is taking anti-inflammatory medication and extra strength Tylenol when needed);
  • Spasm present in the cervical region increasing with movement;
  • Headaches and increased neck pain following two hours of computer work. (patient has to stop task);
  • The patient is unable to perform most daily activities considered light to heavy. She requires assistance with certain self-care activities;
  • The patient reports that her most painful experience, excluding childbearing, would be the recovery period following her gallbladder surgery (laparoscopy).

About Whiplash
People injured in car accidents sometimes experience
a strain of the neck muscles and surrounding soft tissue, known as whiplash. This may result in tender muscles (Grade I) or limited neck movement (Grade II). Whiplash
is usually temporary and most people who experience it make a complete recovery. Here is some information to help you better understand whiplash:

  • Most whiplash injuries are not serious and heal fully;
  • Signs of serious neck injury, such as fracture, are usually evident in early assessments. Health care professionals trained to treat whiplash are alert for these signs.
  • Pain, stiffness and other symptoms of Grades I or II whiplash typically start within the first two days after the accident. A later onset of symptoms does not indicate a more serious injury.
  • Many people experience no disruption to their normal activities after a whiplash injury. Those who do usually improve after a few days or weeks and return safely to their daily activities.
  • Just as the soreness and stiffness of a sprained ankle may linger, a neck strain can also feel achy, stiff or tender for days or weeks. While some patients get better quickly, symptoms can persist over a longer period of time. For most cases of Grades I and II whiplash, these symptoms gradually decrease with a return to activity.

Information from Getting The Facts About Whiplash, available at the Ontario Massage Therapy Association’s website at www.omta.com


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