How Long does Whiplash Last and What are Its Effects?



The effects of whiplash are more serious than you think. Even after the injury has supposedly been treated and your body functions seemed to have stabilized, the effects of whiplash injury can still haunt you a long, long time after the accident.

Whiplash and Its Effects

Whiplash is an injury sustained after your head is jolted in one direction then snaps back in the other direction, such as, in a car collision situation. Whiplash may also result from falls, work-related injuries and sports injuries. The powerful and sudden movements of your neck can result in not just a sore neck but extensive injuries and damage such as strain and sprain to the ligaments, tendons, joints and muscles in the neck and surrounding area.

A wide range of other symptoms from whiplash may include any of the following:

  • Neck pain
  • Lower back or upper back pain
  • Restricted mobility of the neck
  • Headaches / dizziness
  • Numbness / weakness of the arm
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Sleep disorder
  • Travel anxiety

For whiplash resulting from a slight bumper-to-bumper vehicle collision, the condition may last only a few days. The common symptoms are neck pain and upper back pain accompanied by headaches. Whiplash after a more serious vehicular accident, on the other hand, can bring about more severe pain and difficult neck and head movement. All the symptoms may only appear after one or two days upon the occurrence of the accident while the initial signs of an injury is felt 12 hours after that accident.

Mild cases of whiplash are usually treated with over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. The symptoms usually subside after a few weeks of medication.

Whiplash that lasts longer than six months are usually called chronic whiplash. They are normally treated using prescription painkillers and physical therapy (physiotherapy). Serious injuries of this type can last for months and in some cases the symptoms may not totally disappear. Pain and stiffness in the neck may persist together with lower or upper back pain, headaches and sleep disorder.

Here are other startling facts from published materials on the extent of the effects of moderate to long-term whiplash:

  • Of the people included in the study, 71 percent still had some symptoms after more than seven years after their encounter with the whiplash injury. It also took two years for the whiplash condition to stabilize.
  • Patients with moderate whiplash conditions reached functional recovery after 18 months to 2 years. Some even reported recovery as long as five years later.

Whiplash may sound trivial to some but in reality, the injury can bring far-reaching implications due to the long treatment process, the duration of its effects and the physical and mental anguish the injury brings to the patient.

Chiropractic Care for Whiplash



Normally, neck pain develops gradually over time, especially if the cause is poor posture, stress, weakening of the muscles and bones or even injuries in the spine. This is the opposite in whiplash injury situation. Whiplash is an injury in the neck resulting from the sudden and violent thrusting of the neck in one direction to the other direction. The most common example of whiplash is in car accidents. The momentum upon impact of a car to another object causes the neck of the person involved in the accident, to thrust forward and rebound or spring backward. The whiplash will cause sprain to the neck, can tear or sprain ligaments around the vertebrae, injure the facet joints muscles, and strain the muscles and tendons. This will all result in acute neck pain and restriction range of motion in the neck.

Motor vehicle accidents dominate the causes for whiplash although the injury may also be the result of falls, work-related and sports-related injuries.

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat whiplash and bring the patient’s cervical spine or neck to normal condition and functions.

Diagnosis for Whiplash

In the diagnosis and treatment of whiplash, the chiropractor will start by examining not just your neck but the whole spine to identify areas with restricted joint motion, injury to the intervertebral discs and ligaments and muscle spasms. The chiropractor will then analyze your posture and spinal alignment. The chiropractic doctor may require an x-ray or magnetic resonance inspection (MRI) of your spine to further evaluate degenerative changes to your spine resulting from the trauma, if any. The results from all the evaluation performed will form part of the chiropractor’s recommendation for your treatment plan.

Whiplash Treatment

The first thing the chiropractor will do is to reduce any inflammation in your neck using techniques such as ultrasound and muscle energy therapy, a manual technique that may also employ the application of ice pack in the process. As inflammation is reduced and the pain subsides, the chiropractor will utilize gentle spinal manipulation aimed at restoring the normal motion to your spinal joints in the neck.

Some of the most common chiropractic spinal manipulation techniques are:

  • Flexion-distraction technique – This is a gentle type of manipulation to treat herniated disc. It applies slow pumping action on the disc as opposed to a direct force to the spine.
  • Instrument-assisted manipulation – Another type of non-thrusting technique, this employs the use of a specialized hand-held instrument. This is often used for older patients who have degenerative joint syndrome and cannot take more aggressive manual treatment.
  • Specific spinal manipulation – This uses gentle thrusting technique applied to specific spinal joints identified to have subluxations. The gentle thrusting actions stimulate the nervous system to help restore normal spinal movement.

Chiropractic care for musculoskeletal conditions such as whiplash is highly specialized. It uses many specific techniques suited to the treatment of the condition. In the overall chiropractic treatment for whiplash, the totality of your health is considered. The chiropractor views neck pain as unique to the individual and the disorder as an element of the bigger picture, which is your total health and well-being.

Common Neck Injuries You Need to Be Aware of



Seven of the 26 bones in your vertebrae are what is called cervical spine. These are located in the neck area and positioned just below the skull. The cervical spine serves as the direct connection of the brain to the rest of the spine, the communication pathway in your nervous system.

The neck is strategically positioned in your body. It supports the head and connects it to the upper torso of your body. It is so flexible; it can turn to almost any direction. Bones, joints, tissues and nerves in your neck are all connected and work together to hold up your head and move it. This is what makes the neck a vital part of your body. Any injury to the neck can have serious implications to your body’s normal functions.

Common Neck Injuries

Neck injuries may be mild to severe. They may be the result of accidents or normal wear and tear.

What are some of the common neck injuries that you need to be aware of?

  • Neck cricks – They may come from sleeping with the neck in an awkward position or working for many hours at the computer. With neck cricks, the underlying condition can be muscle spasm, arthritis or disc problem. Home remedies usually work to treat this condition.
  • Muscle strain – This is an injury to the muscles moving the spine. Muscle strains frequently occur in the low back but sometimes affect the neck as well. Modifying your activity or avoiding activities that led to the muscle strain coupled with over-the-counter medications is what medical experts recommend to treat this condition.
  • Neck sprain – Sprains of this type are injuries to the ligaments. They are often caused by falls or sudden movement that overstretches the joint or repeated stress to the joint. The level of severity may be mild to severe. In severe neck pain cases, the patient’s spine should be immobilized and emergency personnel called for assistance.
  • Whiplash – This injury is the result of the head being suddenly thrust into hyper extended position then quickly forward, as in a car accident scenario. This may result in neck sprain or strain, may damage the discs or joints and may even affect the spinal cord.
  • Cervical dislocation – This happens when a neck bone (vertebra) moves out of its normal position and creates spinal instability. Injury or degenerative developments cause the ligaments that hold the neck bone in place to separate from the bone below.
  • Neck fracture – This is a break in a cervical bone. A fall, trauma, or degenerative changes in the spine may cause neck fracture. An example of a trauma may come from a football player’s use of his head to block a ball. The elderly especially those with osteoporosis are also at risk, owing to their fragile bones.
  • Spinal cord injury – This occurs when a fracture, neck injury or dislocation cause damage to the spinal cord. Damage to the spinal cord at the third vertebra of the cervical spine or above may cause the person to die or need a respirator to survive.

The neck has a delicate role in the body’s overall functions. Extreme care to the neck should be observed to avoid injuries that can debilitate and prevent you from pursuing your worthy endeavors.

Road Safety: What Drivers Must Know



Experienced drivers might think that, since they have been driving for a long time now, they can sit back and relax in every journey they take. This is a dangerous attitude. Being a driver requires focus, concentration, and alertness at all times, ready to respond to any urgent situation which demands quick reactions.

Here are a few tips which would prevent experienced drivers, as well as beginners, from experiencing vehicular accidents and road mishaps.

  1. Wear your seatbelt at all times. This is the first and most important rule in driving. The moment you step in to your car, you should pull that belt behind you and buckle it towards your front. Seat belts can draw the line between safe and danger, and life and death. Passengers should also practice this habit, whether the travel distance is short or long.
  1. Eliminate distractions or anything that will keep your focus away from the road. These include sending text messages, making and receiving calls, watching DVD, playing games, listening to loud music, talking to passengers, looking at maps or GPS, and even thinking about something else. When you are distracted, you won’t be able to see or hear what is happening outside and may cause accident eventually.
  1. While it is fun to listen to music while driving, you should be careful not to overdo it, such that you won’t be able to hear important external sounds, like the sirens of an emergency vehicle, for example. In addition, you should not be too occupied by the music that you no longer think of where you are and what you are doing. For example, a very soothing music might put you to sleep.  Also, constantly fiddling with the radio while driving can take your attention away from the road and make you miss important turns or, worse, make you hit something.
  1. When driving with company, it is alright to talk to them, but you must avoid looking at them while talking. Your eyes must always be fixed on the road or at the mirrors, to make sure you stay on the right side of the road and that no vehicles are likely to hit you.
  1. When planning a long drive, make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before, so you can stay alert and active for the entire journey. Don’t forget to eat enough food, too, so you won’t be too irritable while driving.
  1. Lastly, there is a need to emphasize that a driver must not take drugs or alcohol before driving, as these substances impair his senses and his ability to think clearly.

While most of these items are quite common, it is important to keep reminding drivers of what they should and should not do on the road. Many accidents happen because of carelessness and hardheadedness, that even though they know something is wrong, they still do it anyway just because they think they can get away with it.

Accidents happen in split seconds. Don’t wait for one to happen to you before you observe these road safety measures.

Common Driving Mistakes that Lead to Car Accidents



Road accidents happen and continue to worsen day by day for many reasons, including negligence of drivers and pedestrians, lack of car’s safety feature, and violation of driving rules among others. It is sad that due to many unreasonable causes, passengers get injured and sometimes get killed.

Driving should always be done strictly carefully and only by those who are truly responsible and mindful. It is because of driving mistakes, disregard, and blunders that road accidents happen and affect even innocent people. Below are the common driving mistakes many drivers do that lead to minor and serious car accidents.

Distracted Drivers

These are drivers who like to multi-task. They drive and eat, drive and call, drive and watch, or drive and daydream. Distractions, such as mobile phones, video screen, loud music, and even a talkative passenger should be kept away from a driver to let him focus and stay alert during a trip.

According to Mark Edwards, Director of Traffic Safety at the American Automobile Association, about 25 to 50 percent of all vehicular accidents in the US are caused by distracted drivers. While distractions come in many different forms, the top ones include texting and rubbernecking.

Tired and Sleepy Drivers

Another major cause of road accidents is driving when tired or sleepy. According to the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration, tired drivers cause about 100,000 vehicular accidents each year in the US, with the peak of accidents happening from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. when people are supposed to be sleeping.

It is important then that a driver should have rested completely before driving out. If he knows that his driving schedule is late at night, he should take the whole afternoon resting and not doing activities that may add to his fatigue. If really feels drowsy in the middle of the drive, it is best to have someone take over the wheel or, if there is none, he should safely pull over the vehicle and rest for a while until he regains his strength.

Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and a common cause of road and vehicular accidents, that not only lead to passenger injury but many deaths, as well. In 2013, drunk drivers account for 30 percent of all fatal accidents on the road.

To prevent accidents brought about by drunk driving is to not drink and drive. If you know that you are still going to drive home, say no to that glass of vodka. Or if you can’t avoid drinking, make sure that someone who didn’t drink will be the one to take on the wheel.


There is a reason why speed limits are established in particular areas, and if motorists could not dollow this simple rule, chances are they are not well educated about the consequences of their driving actions. Over-speeding not only increases the risk of vehicular crashes, but makes the impact more severe, too.  In fact, a study made by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), states that when speed is increased from 40 to 60 mph, the impact of the crash more than doubles. Slowing down and following speed limits can go a long way toward road safety.

First-Aid Treatment for Forearm Contusion


A forearm contusion involves bruising of the skin and scarring tissues of the forearm due to an injury, accident, or direct blow. Typically, a contusion causes bleeding from small, ruptured blood capillaries, enabling blood to penetrate tendons, muscles, and other soft tissues. It primarily affects the tissues of the forearm, which includes the blood vessels, tendons, muscles, nerves, connective tissues and the covering of the bone which is called periosteum.

How to Treat Forearm Contusion

Usually caused by a direct and severe hit to the forearm, usually from a sharp, solid object, forearm contusions can be cured by first-aid measures. The following first-aid treatment for should be followed in case contusions happen to you or a family member:

  1. Using a sling, immobilize the injured forearm of the patient. Let it stay still and avoid moving it.
  2. Wrap a stretchable bandage over a felt pad on the affected arm. Keep it compressed and tight for about 72 hours.
  3. Perform ice massage. To do this, fill a Styrofoam cup with water and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. When frozen, tear a small piece from the top so the ice protrudes. Gently massage the ice pack over the affected area in a circular motion, about the size of a softball. Continue doing the procedure three to four times a day, for 15 minutes at a time. Remember to do the ice massage before workouts or competition, too.
  4. Massage gently and frequently to provide added comfort and reduce swelling.
  5. To prevent recurrence, wear appropriate clothes, protective gear, and safety equipment during outdoor activities, sports, and competition, especially if there has been a contusion that happened recently or if the activity might cause a contusion.

Healing time varies with the extent of the patient’s injury, but the average healing time of forearm contusions is from two to three weeks. If not treated properly right away, possible complications may occur such as excessive bleeding, which might lead to disability; reduced blood supply going to the forearm muscles, which may cause death of tissue, loss of function, and tightening of affected muscles; and possible infection if the skin is torn or broken from the contusion. Infiltrative-type bleeding can sometimes even lead to calcification and impaired function of muscles and tendons.

Contusions and Chiropractic Care

As an after care, bring the patient to a chiropractor for an adjustment treatment. With a chiropractic care, the injured tissues and nerves can be manipulated to bring back mobility and function. Depending on the response of the patient, the session can be done once or a couple of times.

Swimming and Its Benefits to the Body

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Yoga, Pilates, belly-dancing, step aerobics – these are just a few of the many fitness trends that have become popular among the gym-going set. Although no one will doubt the effectivity of these popular forms of exercise, some of the fitness enthusiasts may be on the lookout for an alternative that is more affordable, more convenient, and much easier to do, especially if you have not yet attained high levels of flexibility or stamina.

Swimming as an All-in-One Exercise

Swimming is one such form of exercise.  It offers a great way to burn those calories and tone those muscles without the high cost of joining instructor-led classes. Those of you who work around tight schedules will no longer have to adjust to class schedules because your exercise time will be left up to you.

Swimming is also an ‘individual’ exercise, meaning you are free to go at your own pace – those of you who find yourselves struggling in class to keep up with the latest routines or positions will find that once you hit the pool, the difficulty and length of your fitness routine is solely at your discretion. Moreover, swimming is one form of exercise that is greatly recommended for those who have muscle problems or have had back and neck injuries in the past; the water acts as a shock absorber, protecting your body from the full impact of strenuous exercise.  As an added benefit for those who reside in tropical climates, swimming offers a cool and refreshing alternative to other forms of exercise that leave you hot and sweaty.

Understanding the Different Strokes

As the saying goes, there are different strokes for different folks, and this very much applies to swimming. The choice of which stroke to use depends on your skill level, the number of joules you wish to burn, and the specific muscle group you want to concentrate on.

  1. The freestyle is the stroke that most of you are probably familiar with and no great amount of skill is needed in order to do this. It is a great fat-burner, allowing you to shed as much as 420 joules for just 10 minutes of exercise. It is a great exercise for the back, abs, glutes and shoulders.
  1. The backstroke is also an easy stroke, although it will not give your lungs as much a work out as the other strokes. It works out the same muscle group as the freestyle, but burns only 335 joules for every 10 minutes.
  1. The breaststroke is slightly more complicated but more relaxing than freestyle. It’s great for those who want a slow-paced exercise, or those who want to tone their chest, shoulders, triceps and legs. It burns 250 joules per 10 minutes.
  1. The butterfly is the most complicated (but conversely the most rewarding) stroke of all. One might opt to hire an instructor to get the basics right. A full 10 minutes of this stamina-building stroke will help you burn as much as 625 kilojoules in 10 minutes!

So what are you waiting for – grab a bottle of sunblock, a pair of goggles, and get splashing!

Pilates: An Exercise in Balance


Almost the whole world has caught up in the Pilates phenomenon. Pilates is an exercise method whereby physical movement is designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. Pilates involves the systematic practice of specific exercises, made in conjunction with focused breathing patterns. Pilates is embraced not only by fitness enthusiasts, but also by professional dancers and sports men, and those who need physical rehabilitation due to illness.

Benefits of Pilates

The appeal of Pilates may be due to the numerous benefits it yields. It has been found to increase lung capacity and circulation. This is because the exercise program involves deep and healthy breathing as its primary focus. At the same time, Pilates develops a person’s strength and flexibility, in addition to mind and body coordination. Particularly, it develops the abdomen and the back muscles, which in turn promote good posture, balance, and core strength, and prevent disorders such as osteoporosis and slipped disc. Furthermore, because of all these benefits, one can observe an improvement in his bone density and joint health after continuous exercise, giving a person more control over his mind and body.

How Pilates is Done

Pilates can be done with or without the use of special exercise equipment, although it when it developed, the use of makeshift equipment was essential. During the First World War, around 1914, the founder of Pilates named Joseph Pilates devised a way of rehabilitating patients who contracted wartime diseases and various physical injuries. This he accomplished by creating various apparatus made from bed springs and other things available at the time. He believed what was important was to create spring resistance and allow movement for the bedridden. These improvised equipment developed into the more sophisticated ones we see being used today, although the present equipment retained the basic philosophy behind the original ones: spring tension, straps and support for the back, neck and shoulders.

Today, Pilates as an exercise can be tailored to match the needs of the condition and health of every person. Moreover, it has advanced in such a way that it does not only cater ill persons, but also healthy persons who want to develop toned muscles and flexibility.

Prevention and Treatment for Slipped Disc

Slipped or herniated disc is defined as the displacement of the disc material beyond the intervertebral disc space. It is most prevalent among people between 30 and 50 years old, with men being more prone than women. This condition is frequently the result of injury from sudden twisting or turning action in the course of lifting heavy objects, or weakness of the muscles and bones.  Slipped disc causes pain and discomfort to the affected person.


Prevention of Slipped Disc


Experts are of the opinion that it may not be possible to prevent a slipped disc. But taking a proactive stance is the best action we can do to prevent the risk of developing a slipped disc.  Here are some of the things you can do:


  • When lifting:
    • Use the correct lifting techniques when lifting heavy objects. Bend and lift from your knees, not your waist.
    • Think and make sure you can manage the weight before proceeding.
    • Keep the load to be lifted close to your waist.
    • Be extra cautious to avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways.
    • Keep your head straight and look ahead as you carry the load.


  • Maintain a healthy weight. It will help ease the pressure off your back. Being overweight can put extra strain and pressure on your back.


  • Do not sit for long periods of time. Get up and stretch periodically.


  • Do regular exercises.
    • Regular exercises strengthen the muscles in your back, abdomen and legs.
    • It can help keep your supporting back muscles strong and supple especially.
    • It can slow down deterioration of the discs in your back, as you age.
    • Avoid high-impact activities, such as running and aerobics, if you are recovering from a slipped disc


Treatment of Slipped Disc


Treatments available for a slipped disc range from conservative to surgical. The treatment typically depends on the level of pain and discomfort you experience and the severity of the displacement of the disc from its original position. The treatment options include:


  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers


  • Prescription medications including narcotics to relieve pain, muscle relaxers to get rid of muscle spasms, and nerve pain drugs including gabapentin and duloxetine


  • Exercise program for stretching and strengthening of the back and surrounding muscles. A physical therapist will administer this program.


  • This is normally performed if your slipped disc affects your muscle function or if symptoms do not subside in six weeks.
    • Your surgeon may take out the protruding portion or damaged disc without really removing the whole disc. This procedure is called a microdiscectomy.
    • Your doctor may also remove the disc and connect your vertebrae together (called laminectomy) or replace it with an artificial one. This procedure brings extra stability to the spinal column.
  • Chiropractic treatment through spinal manipulation.

In a study published in 2009 comparing the effectiveness of the different treatment options for slipped disc, it was concluded that:

·      There is little evidence to suggest that drug treatments are effective in treating herniated disc.

·      With regard to non-drug treatments, chiropractic manipulations seems to be more effective at relieving local or radiating pain in people with acute back pain and sciatica.

  Preventing the risks for slipped disc by being proactive and taking all necessary precautions is the smartest way to avoid this medical condition, which has major implications in our health.  Most available treatment methods for slipped disc are not completely effective, so we should seriously work at not being afflicted by it.