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Whiplash for 12 years and I'm desperate!

Koetje87 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi all,

My name is Lise, 36 years old and I'm at my wits end because my whiplash last for 12 years now and I can't live with it anymore. I've tried everything and I'm tired of fighting. And yet I don't want to give up. Is there anything else I can do, something I've overlooked? My story in short:

In May 2011 I was hit from behind on my bicycle. I kind of dived towards the curb and as far as I know my head snapped back. I had a big scar on my forehead and the ER diagnosed a concussion.
After a few weeks of bed rest, I went back to work as a mail deliverer. Perhaps not wise, as the mail bags could be heavy at times and I also carried a shoulder bag with mail.
In the course of August 2011 I suddenly started to suffer from lower back pain and a stiff neck in combination with headaches that persisted. I also got severe migraine attacks. Until now unfortunately.
I especially have pain in my neck and radiating pain to my head. My lower back feels uncomfortable rather than really painful, but I still want to mention it. A number of vertebrae are very painful or sensitive when pressed. I can best describe the pain as nerve pain in combination with muscle pain. It sometimes seems that my muscles are too short, as if they are wrapped around me like a corset. I can move my neck all the way to the left (although it hurts) and to the right only a little bit.

At the time, I first went to the GP who prescribed me painkillers and then to a physiotherapist who indicated that the collision was the cause of my complaints. My body wouldn't react to the damage until now because it was previously in some kind of survival mode or something. And compensating for the damage involved muscle groups that actually had a different function and sooner or later this would start to hurt.

In addition to the GP and physiotherapist, I have visited both practitioners in the regular circuit and practitioners in the alternative circuit. Briefly my experience per practitioner:

- Physiotherapist (2011/2012): massages temporarily gave some relief. Exercises were okay but did not do enough overall. Exercise in de gym made the problems worse.

- Neurologist (2012): She discussed the results of the neck X-ray with me (which I only received a year after the accident) and it was concluded that I was in pain because my neck had no natural curve or something. See photo for better explanation. She referred me to a pain specialist and advised an exercise therapist.

- Exercise therapy(2012/2013): although my posture was not good on many fronts, changing this did nothing for my pain complaints.

- Pain specialist 1(2012/2013): she didn't take me seriously, I just had stiff muscles, nothing more and nothing less. I had to start exercising even though I had already tried this. She did write out a "prescription" for a tens device. While it did give me some distraction, it didn't do enough for the pain.

- Pain specialist 2(2014): He was more concerned with my situation. He first gave strong painkillers and muscle relaxants, but strangely enough the complaints became untenable. Finally he suggested a nerve treatment of which I received 2 on my neck. The situation did not change at all.

- Dry needling(2015): temporary relief.

- Pea pure supplements: Made a significant difference for a while. I eventually stopped taking it because the effect seemed to decrease. Still, the pain was more bearable and I could do more as long as it worked.

- 2016: I started jogging 2 times a week out of some kind of desperation. It seemed to do something for my muscles, maybe something with the blood flow? In the long run I was no longer benefiting from it.

- Orthomanual therapist(2017): he indicated that my pelvis was crooked and that a number of cervical vertebrae were sticking out. After a single treatment, the pain seemed to be reduced by half. What a relief, I could live with this if I had to! Unfortunately, the result didn't last long and I came back a number of times(2017-2022) where it did something and the other time it didn't.

- 2018: I have been diagnosed with mild scoliosis in my back on an x-ray.

- Acupuncturist(2020): he poked at the "blood flow" and other things. This gave relief, but I had to keep coming back for it every week wich was very expensive too.

- Chiropractor (2021): made the problems worse and I stopped after 10 treatments. What is striking is that my neck regularly makes "cracking" sounds with movements since I had my neck manipulated. This is now almost 2.5 years ago. The doctor says that this is because the joint surfaces are no longer completely straight and can do no harm. I'm afraid of osteoarthritis, but she doesn't think that's possible.

 -Prolotherapy(2021/2022): my shoulder pain on the right side has completely disappeared with this and pain in the lower back and neck has not yet. I still doubt whether I will continue with this because of the high costs and that I have already had a lot of treatments. However, I also want to give it a chance because the pain in my shoulder has already disappeared. Any thoughts on this?

* I'm sure I'm forgetting something,but these are the main treatments I've done. I am also a vegetarian and sometimes wonder if this has hindered my recovery. I have never had any deficiencies (except for vitamin d in 2020 and b12 could also be a bit higher at times, although I was not at the lower limit).

* At the end of 2012 I was hit on my scooter, but this time from the front. The pain level was briefly worse, but then returned to the same level. I just wanted to mention this for the record. 
Now: I have suffered from pain for 12 years now, except that it improved a bit in some cases. There is always a basic pain, but there are days when, apart from a treatment, it can also get better if I do or don't do certain things. However, I notice that I am becoming more and more limited and even a small walk causes more pain. I am also incapacitated for work because I could not function due to pain. I regularly called in sick or I couldn't do my job properly if I showed up anyway. My job now is to get the pain under control, but it's the hardest job with the hardest "boss" I've ever had.

  Yesterday I had such a severe migraine that I didn't know what to do anymore. Is there anything else I can do? Resume prolotherapy or another treatment method I haven't tried yet? I also read about a so-called atlas correction, does anyone have experience with that? 


  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2023
    Hello and welcome @Koetje87 and thanks for sharing this with us, it sounds like you've really been through it over the years!

    It's always advisable to consult your GP or other specialist you've been working with about any ongoing pain management, as I'm afraid we can't offer any medical advice here on the community.

    You've mentioned that with things as they are at the moment, you are worried about becoming more and more limited, and the additional impact this has on your work. Have you spoken with your GP about your most recent worries? You might want to ask them about getting a referral for a needs assessment with your local authority.

    A needs assessment can help determine if you need extra support or equipment to help day to day. 

    Have you considered speaking to anyone at work about reasonable adjustments like flexible working, or looked into any benefits you may be able to claim? Scope has information on working and claiming benefits which might be useful to read.

    If we can do anything more to help please ask, and remember you're not alone in living with long term health conditions and chronic pain, so well done for reaching out :) 
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