Chronic pain following a Road traffic accident

This patient had a Road traffic Accident over 5 years ago which left her with whiplash and pain in her back. Ever since, she has not been able to bend forward to touch her toes or comfortably put on her shoes. She has had other treatments but not feeling much relief.

She has pain at the mid back and bra-strap region and feels stiff around her neck and shoulders. She occasionally suffers with headaches. There are times when she feels like her back and neck are about to go into spasm.

On examination:

The patient was very tight around her neck and shoulder region. Her thoracic (mid-back) extension (leaning back) and rotation (turning) is restricted. She was tender when I touched the muscles in her upper back (trapezius, levator scapulae).

Patient is restricted when trying to touch her toes and feels tight and uncomfortable around her lower back and hamstrings.

Treatment:

  • Deep tissue techniques on her upper and lower back muscles
  • Mobilisation of her scapula-thoracic joint
  • Re-alignment of her neck, mid and lower back
  • Mobilisation of her lumbar spine

At the end of the treatment, patient was able to move pain-free as well as touch her toes. Her muscles were a lot looser and her spine was moving freely! Needless to say, she was extremely happy.

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