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Posted on 10-27-2014

Baltimore Whiplash Injuries Worsened Due to Cervical Spine Stenosis

Whiplash injuries in Baltimore, MD are very common injuries due to the sheer number of rear-end motor vehicle collisions in Baltimore. Most of the time these injuries are self limiting and patients respond well to several weeks of chiropractic manipulation, electric muscle stimulation, passive modalities, intersegmental traction, and active therapeutic exercises. Sometimes some patients do not respond as well to care even in instances where the impact to a vehicle is not very severe.

Most patients that present for whiplash treatment in Baltimore have some form of prior injury or pre-existing condition. They have either had prior crashes that resulted in cervical spine (neck) trauma or they have some form of pre-existing injury in their neck that makes them more susceptible to injury even in response to minimal acceleration forces in minor crashes.

One condition that I see frequently is cervical spine stenosis. This is a condition where the sagittal neural canal diameter (where the spinal cord and its surrounding connective tissues normally sit) is already smaller than usual. Patients can have cervical spine stenosis and have no symptoms of it in the absence of trauma. Generally speaking cervical spine stenosis is largely a result of aging and of having advanced arthritis of the neck and is present in elderly patients (middle age and beyond). In these patients even minimal amounts of cervical disc bulging and/or inflammation in the neck following Baltimore whiplash injuries can result in severe neck pain, and in some cases, neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and/or weakness down either one or both arms.

Research from Debois, Herz, Berghmans, Hermans, and Herregods in 1999 demonstrated that "a small diameter of the bony cervical spinal canal predisposes [a patient] to an adverse clinical outcome after whiplash injury."

Clearly no two patients are the same. Property damage to a vehicle and forces involved in a Baltimore whiplash injury are not always great predictive indicators of the injury suffered in a whiplash injury. Human metrics, such as the presence or absence of pre-existing conditions, are important indicators when determining the injury severity of a whiplash patient.

If you, or someone you know, has recently suffered from whiplash from a Baltimore car accident, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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