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Broadgate spine & joint clinic blog

by Alan Jordan

Expectations after a Whiplash Injury

In addition to being a legally contentious issue, our chiropractic patients are often overly worried about what to expect if they have been involved in a whiplash injury. In a recent blog, I outlined the whiplash classification system and clearly, the higher the whiplash associated disorder scale that one registers, the longer one should expect to get well.

There are a number of additional factors which have shown to be of prognostic value. These have been gleaned from a systematic review – this is a scientific process which collates all relevant scientific data and arrives at more broad based conclusions and recommendations. A very recent and strong study concludes;

 

  • Strong evidence was found for high initial pain intensity being an adverse prognostic factor.
  • Females tend to suffer from whiplash related symptoms for longer periods of time than male, particular as they get older.
  • Individuals involved in rear-end collisions tend to do less well.
  • Individuals who experience a strong psychological response do less well.

 

To the surprise of many, no association was found between individuals involved in litigation and the duration of symptoms. This finding has surely raised eyebrows in the legal and insurance industries.

Factors that did NOT play a role in expectations include:

  • Restricted range of movement.
  • Previous psychosocial problems.

 

The overwhelming majority of individuals involved in whiplash injuries do quite well, to the surprise of many. The neck is, after all, comprised of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and so forth, all of which will heal over time. It is always a good idea to consult a professional in good time so that a thorough examination can be undertaken and expectations reviewed.

 

At Broadgate, we have a wide range of experts, including chiropractors, who are able to carry out this initial review and refer onwards to the practitioner that is best suited to manage your case.

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