Research has shown that individuals with abnormal neurological signs, such as those seen with peripheral nerve compression syndromes (entrapment neuropathies), are more likely to develop chronic neck problems.
The nerve compression associated with a whiplash injury can cause several physiological changes to peripheral nerves especially if this compression is left untreated for a long period of time.
Peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes usually involve both motor and sensory nerves. Entrapment of sensory nerves creates pain and paresthesia. Paresthesia is a sensation of tingling, pricking, increased sensitivity, or numbness. Motor nerves allow the brain to stimulate muscle contraction. Entrapment of motor nerves causes weakness, decreases muscle function, and muscle atrophy (wasting away).
The exact symptoms of nerve entrapment will vary depending on the location of the nerve entrapment. If a patient has these symptoms they should be closely monitored and treated as soon as possible.
Treating Nerve Compression Syndromes
Usually, addressing nerve compression syndromes can be a difficult problem to deal with. Considering the potential problems, such as myelin sheath damage, that can occur if these syndromes are not treated soon enough, early intervention become critical.
Fortunately there are specific protocols that ART practitioners can use to release these entrapments. It is important to note that nerve compression that occurs during a traumatic incident such as a whiplash accident can affect a nerve anywhere along its path. The following list shows examples of common whiplash symptoms, entrapment sites, and the nerves that can be released with the appropriate ART procedure.
The following are only a few examples of symptoms and nerve entrapment sites that ART procedures can address.
Symptom - Neck Pain
Symptom - Headaches
Symptom - Shoulder pain
Symptom - Arm pain
See Part 7 (The last of this series) – Resolving Whiplash Injuries with Active Release will cover treatment and exercises.
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