Have you had whiplash or chronic neck pain?

January 19, 2012
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What is the first thought and emotion that comes to your mind when you hear the word whiplash? What it the first thought and emotion that comes up for you when looking at this picture?

For me, when I hear whiplash and see these images, I instantly tighten my muscles in my neck, shoulders, and upper back and start to get a knot in my stomach and feel pain in my body. Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe neck pain associated with a trauma. The medical terms you will hear doctors use are cervical strain/sprain along with hyperextension/hyperflexion when diagnosing a neck injury.
I'm sure everyone at some point has experienced some sort of neck trauma, whether it is from a car accident, sporting injury, fall or repetitive motions. How many of you still feel pain from those accidents/injuries? I have been in a few car accidents and remember a time whitewater rafting down the White Salmon River when I got whiplash, severe hyperextension of the neck, because of Husum Falls. That was three years ago and I continue to experience chronic pain in my neck and upper back every day along with occasional tinnitus (ringing of the ears) and numbness and tingling in my arms.
Over the course of the last three years I have not found any treatment with massage, chiropractic or acupuncture to provide me with significant pain relief. I have received one of these treatments one-two times a month over the last three years. All of them have provided me with temporarily pain relief and have ensured my success in continuing to do 20-25 hours of massage a week, along with my outdoor activities. However it wasn't until I recently took a class by the Rolf Institute in Advanced Myofascial techniques that I experienced significant pain relief along with increased range of motion in my neck.
In early December 2011, I took a class on the neck, head and jaw along with a two-day class on whiplash/chronic neck pain. In this class we went over the neck anatomy extensively. We also discussed how people can live in a state of chronic whiplash for years and how pain from a trauma can take hours, weeks, day or months to set in. When a massage therapist receives training in a modality, they must also experience the modality; given my past neck injuries I was a great candidate for the class. I experienced significant pain relief for the last month and have been applying these techniques on almost every guest I see at Zama with great success. The third and last day of the class, I felt my eustachian tube (ear canal) adjust and so far I have not experienced any tinnitus. The techniques we learned are very passive and take a while to administer, mainly because we wait for your nervous system to respond which allows for movement. It is best to receive this work over short multiple sessions.
We have many therapists in the office who are trained by the Rolf Institute in the Advanced Myofascial Techniques; they are Juniper Vojta, Jarrod Morrow, Lynn Bukowski and Racheal Kasprzak. Jarrod is the only LMT who has been certified in these trainings whereas Juniper and Lynn have taken many classes but have yet to complete the certification process and Racheal has just gotten started.
Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions about chronic neck pain and what treatment would be the most effective we are happy to help find a solution to fit your needs.
Lynn Bukowski
Founder of Zama Massage

Zama Massage Therapeutic Spa

2149 NE Broadway Street
PortlandOregon 97232
Off street parking in back (compact cars only).

Phone: 503.281.0278


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