Have Any Of You Had Whiplash After A Car Accident? I Was Rear Ended A Little Over A Year Ago And I Still Have Severe Whiplash Symptoms. How Long Did It Take To Feel Better And What Did You Do?

Question

Asked by groverkitty

Have Any Of You Had Whiplash After A Car Accident? I Was Rear Ended A Little Over A Year Ago And I Still Have Severe Whiplash Symptoms. How Long Did It Take To Feel Better And What Did You Do?

Have any of you had whiplash after a car accident? I was rear ended a little over a year ago and I still have severe whiplash symptoms. I've seen numerous doctors, had x-rays, and a MRI. All they showed was a straightening of the neck and minor osteoarthritis. I've seen an acupuncturist (6 months), chiropractor (8 months), PT (off and on 3 months), my rheumatologist who gave me a Sarapim injection, and 2 pain doctors who gave me several injections each. The only that has helped is my chiropractor and the last cortisone injection, but now the cortisone has worn off and yesterday the pain was so bad I was in tears. I'm at the end of my rope on what to do. The PT flares me up every time no matter how little they do. I use ice, and heat and I do my PT exercises every single day. Anyone have suggestions? Most people feel all better within a few months. I'm so exhausted every day and everything hurts. I have Fibromyalgia and RA.

Answer

I got a whiplash-like injury several years ago and it never really went away. I have both RA and fibromyalgia, so it seems to have created some sort of endless loop of a repetitive strain injury, as well. It is amazing how much such an injury interferes with your ability to live your life.

A couple of things. First, if your PT causes a flare every time you see them, there's a problem. I can see being a little sore after you have physio, but if you have a significant flare, then they're doing something wrong. You may want to find another physiotherapist - look for someone who has experience in dealing with chronic conditions. I've seen a couple, one who was fantastic, respected my limits and work within them, which really helped me. I've also seen one or two who insisted on pushing me past my limits and every time, I paid for it with a flare. The ones who pushed me past my limits worked in orthopedic rehab where such an approach can be warranted, but which should definitely not be used for somebody who has a chronic condition. You know your body better than anyone, so I would suggest that you advocate for yourself and discuss the approach to treatment with your physical therapist - together, you may be able to find another way of treatment that would help you without causing a flare. You have already tried acupuncture, but I would recommend that you continue with that - although it probably won't cure you, it could be a very helpful in pain management.

What ended up helping me was ultrasound. I got to the point where I was thinking about quitting my job would MyRACentral because working aggravated my injury so much. My doctor gave me a last-resort referral to ultrasound with a physical therapist - she didn't think it would work, but it was one of those "we've tried everything else" cases. And then it did work. This may be one of the things you can suggest to your PT.

even though I am much better now, I still need to be careful and listen to my body to avoid triggering a flare of the problems. Muscle relaxants also an essential part of how I manage the problems in my neck and shoulders - I take cyclobenzaprine every night before go to bed and it helps unclench whatever I did during the day so I'm better in the morning. I always wear a scarf to keep my neck warm and protected against drafts. Heat and ice are also helpful, as is meditation.

Keep in mind that you may have some degree of these symptoms for a long time. Perhaps if you approach it as a sort of chronic condition, utilizing a number of different ways of dealing with it like the ones I described above, they will work together and help reduce the symptoms.

good luck! Please keep us posted on what happens?