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long term whiplash symptoms
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long term whiplash symptoms

Three months ago I was involved in a MVA - was rearended at about 15mpr. I went to the nearest ER and had xrays taken of my neck because it became very sore in a matter of an hour after the impact. No bone damage was seen and I was told that my neck was strained and was given naproxen. A few days later, I started getting shoulder/arm/hand pain and numbness. I went to my PCP and was told I had a pinched nerve and that if the pain continued for more than a week, to go see a neurologist. I did see one who ordered a MRI and it was discovered that I had a bulge at the C6/7, consistant with a whiplash injury. I no longer have the arm pain, instead, I now get dizzness and vertigo, moments of derealization and increase anxiety and sometimes my breathing becomes slightly labored when my neck feels "sour". I was given a low dose of diazepan (8mg per day). I now am doing PT for the whiplash. My question is, how dangerous is a bulge at C6/7. I am worried that if I fall or cause any sudden movement, it may herniate. Does this area effect any other part of the body besides the arm? Everyone, my PCP, my neurologist and my PT have given me different answers. I want the dizziness and vertigo to stop. Any advice?
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There is an entity called cervicogenic vertigo which is vertigo symptoms associated with cervical spine disease such as that from trauma. Special PT (for people with vertiginous symptoms) and perhaps a muscle relaxant (valium is ok, flexeril or xanaflex can also be tried) may help the symptoms. With time, many people get better slowly and go back to their normal baseline status. As for the C6-7 area, the muscles and sensations in the arm should be the only things affected. Ask your doctor how much "bulge" there actually is. If it's minor with no impingement on the spinal cord or nerve roots, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. If your symptoms persist or get worse, consider getting an EMG which can help determine how severe the bulge really is. Best of luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have similar symptoms-Feb,01 I received neck injury (whiplash) during altercation at working breaking up a fight tried PT helped minimal neck constantly stiff and sore with  stabbing pain constantly upon turning head and on Oct, 01 developed dizziness, numbness & tingling little finger aching down shoulder, feeling faint but never did actually pass out, bloodpressure would go up and down, have pressure which builds in back of head then mild headache radiates over head and these dizzy spells occur. I have days I'm better than others but since Oct have never quite felt myself sort of feels like when your waking from anesthesia.  Doctors said I have pinched nerves in my neck traumatic muscle spasms and MRI shows bulge C5/6. Test done are EEG, EMG, MRI neck and brain, coratid doppler and doctors have no answers. Brain MRI shows 4 dots frontal area but they report redo MRI 1 year. This has become frustrating, afraid to drive unable to perform normal life style. I'm up for any suggestions at this point no doctor yet has given any answer for the head pressure and dizziness. Appreciate any input. Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my C5/6 fused, but have multiple bulges, spurs, etc.  Prior to the surgery (and actually after too) the best thing that helped me with the pain was the position at rest:  Place something like a box, cedar chest, etc--just a couple of inches LOWER than the surface of the bed AND next to you bed.  Next position yourself near the end of your bed, with you head resting on the object you placed next to the bed.  Your neck should be supported by the bed and your shoulders must be square with the bed.  Hopefully this may give you some relief.  There is a book called:  Treat Your Own Neck.  This book gave me more understanding of what I could do for myself and VERY conservative ways to treat myself--actually my PT gave me the book!  ALSO WHEN I WAS WAITING TO have my myelogram, someone rearended me--making the hermiation much worse.  I too had vertigo and severe headaches.  After four months the vertigo finally went away using meclazine and exercises on my own--your docs may not be sending you to rehab because (as my neurologist said) he didn't think that with the neck problem I could tolerate it.  Rosie 1, you sould try to re-post yours so that the physican that monitors this forum could maybe give you answers!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your response to my question above. I would like to share with you what my PCP, Neurologist and my PT have suggested for the cause of the dizziness, vertigo, anxiety and breathing restrictions I have been feeling.

My PCP does believe that my neck problem "could" be causing the symptoms, he has informed me that my x-rays revealed some degeneration at the disc site, but he also stated that it was not abnormal for this at my age, I am 43.

My Neurologist did not agree, he stated the bugle was very slight and it shouldn
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Elordias and Nickmbb for your insight!
Sounds like were all getting the same story...
I would love to post a comment to the doctor since they seem to know their stuff -- but each time I try to post a ? I receive the message not accepting questions.. Any other way to post? HELP..  Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Nick:  The first neurosurgeon I saw seemed to miss alot ignored the orthopedist, PT & rheumatologist who all saw abnormalties.  He shook his head and wouldn't  listen hear me tell him that the GI Doc thought my GERD was caused by my neck.  Just a suggestion would be to keep a log of you are experience--this might help you as you update your neurologist, so you don't forget anything AND sometimes you might think "little weird things" doesn't matter, COULD be very important information.  I'm just going to suggest this, because other people on the forum had been taking about B12 definiency.

Rosie 1:  Sometimes it takes time to "figure things out".  When your in pain and that vertigo (my heart goes out to you both), BUT ENOUGH is enough.  It's to hard to work, run a home and try to have a life (what's that??), without having neuro problems.  Click below on the MED HELP INTERNATIONAL & ask about time!
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Avatar_n_tn
Rosie: Keep trying to post a question. It took about a week of trying a few times a day before I was actually presented with the question area. Make sure you registered (free) because it will ask for a username and password. Just keep trying!

eloridas: Thanks for the excellent suggestion, I will start keeping a log.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the great tips, I tried again looks like questions have been posted since mine so maybe I'll get lucky soon.. Thanks so much!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks to you also, I did enter username and password was that ok?(my OCD is now kicking in)my understanding was neurology was a free site. Thanks and good luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I was in the ocean this past July on a Boogie Board in water just above my knees. I am 54 yrs. old and love the beach. I was hit by a wave and it just picked me up like a rag doll and smashed me down on my head. I was knocked unconscious. When I came to I could not move anything. I was literally getting washed up on shore doing the proverbial "dead man's float". I finally had my head down in about 4 inches of water and could not lift my head up to take a breath of air. My arms and legs were just floating with the waves. Children were actually jumping over me and noone noticed that a woman was being literally washed up on shore.

I finally got to a point where a wave knocked my head on to the sand and a lady wearing a black bathing suit looked down at me. I tried to mouth HELP, she then looked away, and I thought "Dear God-Please let her take me seriously!" Well-she did and the lifeguards finally came and rolled me over onto a backboard and took me by ambulance to the hospital. I was in intensive care for 4 days. I was temporarily quadriplegic the first day. They wanted to operate immediately but I wanted more opinions and I wanted to go back to where I live.
I finally saw a neurologist and a neurosurgeon and am presently having conservative treatment. I was out of work for four months and was not sure what was going to happen. At first I had excruciating pain in my hands. If I put my hands under cold water it was like sticking your hand in fire. After about a  month it started to feel more like electric shocks. Then I started taking Neurontin 3x a day and within a week the pain was almost gone, it was unbelievable. At present I am back at work(In a hospital)and have almost no pain and am taking one pill everyother day. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. If I have any type of whiplash I could be in major trouble. I am taking it slow one day at a time. I have cervical herniations, osteophytes and degenerative arthritis with kyphosis. The first MRI said moderate to severe cervical stenosis. The MRI 4 months later read no stenosis but the above and at one point indenting the cord which seems to be the problem should I have a slight injury. Anyone else out there with a similar experience. I would like to hear some feedback. Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I was in a car accident recently, and have severe pain in neck and shoulder with bad migranes (migraines), and memory lapses.  In April 2001 I received a mild head injury due to a fall and now with the car accident I have to deal with the effects of two head injuries and the effects of it.  Tomorrow I am off to Hospital for an MRI they think I have a cervical prolapsed disk, and a brachial plexus injury.  I am not sure of any of the terms, and I don't know what is happening. I am taking about 30 tablets a day in pain killers (yeah right- pain faders more like it) and have been put on Anti-depresants. (for the first time in my life).  I am 21 and have just graduated from university.  I had a great job but lost it due to the car accident.  Any ideas on what to do to stop the pain, and mood swings?

Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
You will know more after your MRI. Sounds like you may have a concussion either in your head or cervical area. Be careful of taking too many pain killers, the amount you say your taking could actually be causing some of the negitive feelings your having. Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
i was hit in the head and neck by a crain hook 7-13-01 and been told i need surgery on my neck.my question is can the injury to my neck couse my left leg numbness?thanks for time.
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Avatar_n_tn
for RED 1--I too have whiplash--cervical disc herniation--have been in pain 4 years now.  Have you tried an inversion table--I finally got off codeine using it.  Ordered it from www.inversiontherapy.com--most happy with table--it's easy to use and seems safe.  Flexoril helps insomnia due to muscle spasms.  Your Md should be able to order it for you.  Some relief with cervical  traction initially.
Bought pillow from Sleep Options Store in Cinti, Ohio--it's made of Swedish memory foam--either that or a goose down pillow is best.   I get pain pills from my doctor.  Physical therapy gave exercises to do.  In daytime I get best pain relief lying on couch with head elevated 40-60 degrees and upper back and head supported by '"goose down pillows". My neck was "stuck initially" and chiropractic care got it moving again-- along with trying to keep neck moving when pain allowed.  Find a good massage therapist.  that's where I got the best relief.  chiropractors also use "electrical stimulation" which really tones down the muscle spasms, but it seems to work only while going there and then about a month later it all came back.   If you seek a chiropractor--be sure you ask about fees first--One chiropractor billed $8,000 after 6 months of care and did not tell me so until the 6th month of  care after which I stopped going--I also have a fractured rib since chiropractic care???--My ribs were not injured in the wreck but the chiropractor was jamming all over them.  Physical therapy would heat muscles then have me stretch them.
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Post-Concussion Syndrome After Mild Brain Injury

Patients with long-term symptoms were more likely to have radicular symptoms, anxiety, sleep disturbance, blurred vision, "symptoms of cranial nerve or brainstem dysfunction," and signs of osteoarthrosis of the spine. These patients were also more likely to report more pain immediately after the accident.

http://www.injuryresources.com/IC_MTBI_A3.htm
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Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) typically occurs when the head is suddenly accelerated and/or decelerated during an accident of some type. There may or may not have unconsciousness, or even a blow to the head. A severe whiplash situation can cause the same kinds of twisting and shearing forces on the brain's axons - the nerve fibers connecting one part of brain to another - as does a blow to the head. It is thought that these forces damage the connections between nerve cells and possibly the conducting fibers themselves, resulting in impairment of function.

http://qeeg.com/mtbi.html
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EEG Neurofeedback, clinically researched technology that offers new hope for individuals suffering from the effects of neurological trauma such as anoxia (oxygen deprivation), clinical depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, migraine and cluster headaches, stroke, epilepsy, open and closed head trauma, post concussion syndrome, whiplash, sleep disorders, learning disorders, ADD, ADHD, and dyslexia.

http://www.neurowaves.com/
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Hi, I was reading on your comments.  I am a chiropractor in the Dallas Metroplex, and I treat many patients a week involved in Car accidents with similar conditions as you.  The one thing that I found consistent is that there was no mention of anyone going to a chiropractor to help.  I guess I dont find this amazing, but I do find it puzzling that not one of the doctors that you were referred to didnt test the waters of one.  I get referrals from orthopedic and neurologists on a regular basis, because I get results.  When you take an x-ray at the hospital, 9 times out of 10 the report will only state obvious facts such as there were no fractures, dislocations, soft tissue structure appeared to be intact,,,,etc.  There is no mention of biomechanics, and unless there is a military or kyphotic (reverse) curve, there is no mention of that.  Almost all of my patients have a decreased lordotic curve in the neck, and with a decreased or reversed curve comes altered biomechanics.  The cervical spine is designed to hold the majority of the load on the posterior (back) part of the bones because the curve is supposed to look like a reversed C with a normal curve being 45 degrees.  However, many patients have a double curve, or a reversed curve which alters the load and where it is most impacted.  A person with a kyphotic curve will have the majority of the load on the front of the bones where it is least able to handle it.  This causes increased and quicker degeneration in those regions.  Also it may cause an increase pressure on the disc in the posterior portion of the joint below it.  I find that by doing cervical traction, and regular adjustments on my patients with disc problems, in order to restore a more natural curve, pain as well as numbness and tingling are decreased.  This is going to the root of the problem.  I would pose the challenge to any doctor: Tell me a drug that will actually fix these problems as opposed to masking or alleviating the pain associated with it.  Answer, there is none.  Your PCP can not fix the problem, all he can do is prescribe you medication to help with it.  He can send you to a neurologist who can do an EMG/NCV to help determine where the actual conduction is slowed, but that is just an objective test, not a solution.  I am not saying that Chiropractors can fix everyone, but I am saying that for many people, there are natural corrective methods that may aid in your problem, and its much healthier on your liver and kidneys.  I would be more than happy to talk to anyone about this if you have any questions.  My number is 972-557-1212
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I got to tell you that you are 100% correct. I stopped doing my PT because I was actualy feeling much worst. they were having me do stretches and strength exercise, much too early and my whole neck and upper shoulders would clamp up and drive me nuts. I complained just last Monday (2/4/02) to my neuro that the PT wasnt helping after 4 weeks of it, and that in fact, I feel worst. He told me to stick with it. The heck with him...he isn't the one feeling what I am going thru...so I went to a Chiropractor. (I did alot of research to find one that specialized on cervical problems and found a group in the Boston area that actually work on the celtics). In just 2 appointments, I feel like a new man...! Its ashame that alot of the medical establishment have such a hard time recommending Chiropractors.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I wanted to let you know that my orthapedic doc had sent me to a chiroprator.  And had helped me for years.  I wouldn't have been able to work as long as I did if it hadn't been for going to one.  Also, without knowing the actual cause of the bruising, from my bleeding disorder, he also helped me with nutrition and vitimin suppliments--which reduced the bruising affect and I became a much healther person.  It only had been in the last couple of years that I stopped, becuase insurance issues and it didn't seem to help with the herniation when it was compressed.  Would like to speak with you though.
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Hi. Like others here I have suffered a whiplash injury in addition to a low back strain as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  I was nearly recovered from a previous low back injury from five years earlier.  I was acctually managing to live pain free for two or three days at a time, although physical strength with regard to lifting was about 10 per cent of pre injury condition.  The original injury involved bulged discs at c6 t1, t8 t9, l3 l4, l4 l5, l5 l6. The discs were bulged in different directions making pt very painful and progress very slow.  I was under the care of workers compensation and my family doctor, and had very little input as to the types of treatment I would like.  I refused surgical intervention due to the high number of aquaintances with negative results from this type of surgery.

With this new injury I have been allowed some choice by the insurance company as to the type of therapy that I get.  I chose to start the therapy with a Registered Massage Therapist followed by PT.  Even before the PT, I was experiencing a new Range of Movement that I had given up on ever seeing again three years ago.  I have become very nearly pain free in the lower back after 3 weeks of Massage Therapy.  I am also noticing now that I have started PT (alternating with MT) that I am increasing the ROM in both back and neck at a much faster rate than I expected.  

After years of suffering from this type of injury I have finally found some hope.  I had given up on ever being normal again.

I am considering a visit to a chiropractor and I believe that this multi disiplinary approach may be the answer.

The massage therapy gets the knots out of the muscle which can then stretch in the PT and after some success here with Chiropractic treatment getting the spine aligned properly would then tend to stay especially if the MT and PT were to continue, preventing muscle spasms and cramping from pulling the spine out of alignment again.  This would reduce pressure on bulged discs and result in less pain and more rapid healing.  

let me know if I am way off on this train of thought.  I do experience some rather unusual brain malfunctions since this last accident.  I have started calling it half timers. Half the time I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing or what I have been doing for the last half day.
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Avatar_n_tn
I live in the Boston area and am anxious to find out what chiropractic group you see in Boston (that treats the Celtics).  Can you please post this?  Thanks.
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A related discussion, Long Term Whiplash Injury Symptoms was started.
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A related discussion, to late for treatment? was started.
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