Whiplash injury refers to any kind of neck or upper back or lower back pain that is present after you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident. It can also occur when you have been exposed to any kind of injury which causes a sudden unexpected extreme bending or looking up of your neck or twisting movement of your back. These unexpected movements can cause sudden pain often in the neck or the lower back and this can be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms such as pins and needles or tingling or numbness that starts from the neck and goes down into the arms or it may start from the upper or lower back and go down your legs. With neck pain we can also get headaches and blurring of vision and other symptoms that can be seen with a concussion such as drowsiness, tiredness, fatigue, concentration problems, and other muscle aches.
Whiplash related pain can often be very disabling and there can be many factors that are responsible for the maintenance of the pain. Pain could be coming from tight muscles or joints or sometimes trapped nerves that may be causing the pins and needles, tingling and headaches.
What can a pain consultant do in this situation?
Pain consultants often work as part of multidisciplinary teams and we have access to a good network of physiotherapists and psychologists who are able to work with us and our patients and create a personalized bespoke strategy that is very specific for the patient’s neck or back pain. Our main aim will be to restore function and a good range of movement, and this can be done with a combination of strategies that may include medication, minimally invasive injections, treatments like acupuncture, physiotherapy, and possibly other complementary therapies such as mindfulness or meditation that could be added to all the other treatments to improve the chance of success and long term pain relief