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  • Traffic collisions may have long-term consequences

    Traffic collisions may have long-term consequences in terms of damage to the neck and back, the so-called Whiplash Associated Disorders. A Danish study published in the European Journal of Pain shows that the healing of this kind of damage can be about much more than the damage itself.

     

    The term Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) reflects the fact that many injured complain about other symptoms besides whiplash after a traffic collision. It may be pain in other parts of the spine, tingling and tingling in the arms or legs, fatigue, nausea, cognitive problems, poor physical and mental health, depression and anxiety, acute reaction to stress and pain in several other places. This indicates that WAP can be a complex disorder that involves both physical and mental aspects of the patient and his life. Between 50 - 80% of all persons injured in traffic clashes report WAP as an injury in connection with the collision. A related disorder to WAD, pain in the middle part of the spine, mid-back pain (MBP), can be a large part of the injured in the adult population last for up to a year, with reduced physical ability and increased absenteeism as a consequence. Yet it is a disorder that has not previously had a research focus.

     

    Now, a new study by Melker Johansson from IOB at the University of Southern Denmark in collaboration with other researchers from IOB and NIKKB have cast more light on the disorder. The purpose of Melker Johansson's research was to describe the events that led to pain in the middle part of the spine, the progress of the injured person's rehabilitation and forecasts for MBP after clashes in traffic, based on the rehabilitation as reported to researchers by the victim through questionnaires .

     

    The result of the study is interesting and adds new, useful knowledge to the limited knowledge, the experts had about MBP. Almost three and a half thousand injured people suffering from MBP participated in Melker Johansson's research project. The project showed that pain in the middle part of the spine is a common symptom, which can be hard to get rid of after a traffic accident. Especially women and young people are exposed to the disorder. About 23% of the participants in the survey continued to suffer from pain a year after the accident they were involved in, and it took the injured a little more than three months on average to become pain-free.

     

    Melker Johansen's research on the subject revealed that the injured person's general health and overlap with other diseases may have greater influence on the rehabilitation process than the actual physical characteristics of the damage. In addition, a number of external circumstances, such as biopsychosocial factors, ie dynamic interactions between human biological, psychological and social factors influence when a patient feels pain.

     

    That the healing process can be lengthy and may include other health and external circumstances than the damage itself, is important new information for chiropractors, when they diagnose patients with MBP. They may in future involve the new knowledge in their study and treatment of patients who seek them with pain in the neck and spine after having been exposed to an accident.

     

    Whiplash occurs the moment a person's neck is influenced by a collision. In the unfortunate moment when the head is thrown back and forth, the reflexes do everything possible to counter the dangerous movements by tightening up the neck and neck muscles in particular in order to try to avoid lesions in the cervical spine, ligaments and tendons. In some cases the muscles do not stop tightening; hence they suffer from whiplash.

     

    M.S. Johansson, E. Boyle, J. Hartvigsen, M. Jensen Stochkendahl, L. Carroll, J.D. Cassidy. A population-based, incidence cohort study of mid-back pain after traffic collisions: Factors associated with global recovery. European Journal of Pain, 2015 Feb 17

     

    Readers who are interested in reading the entire research article can find a link here: http://www.nikkb.dk/artikler/publikationer/