Coordination problems common after whiplash injury
Many patients who have been in a car crash exhibit symptoms of sensory or motor system dysfunction, such as coordination problems. Previous studies showed that auto injuries can impair the motor and sensory systems. A 2012 study suggests that coordination difficulties may be caused by distorted visual feedback, the result of altered nervous system processing. These nervous system changes may occur as the result of central sensitization, which has been found in injury patients.
The recent study sought to investigate sensorimotor incongruence among patients with acute or chronic auto injury pain. The study involved 30 patients with acute auto injury patients, 35 patients with chronic auto injury pain, and 31 healthy participants. Each was subjected to a coordination test, requiring them to perform arm movements while viewing a mirror or whiteboard.
The researchers found that patients with acute injuries reported exacerbated symptoms and additional sensations in response to the coordination test, indicating an altered perception of visual feedback. These results suggest that acute auto injury pain alters patients' central sensorimotor nervous system processing.
Daenen L, Nijs J, Rouseel N, Wouters K, and Cras P. Altered perception of distorted visual feedback occurs soon after whiplash injury: an experimental study of central nervous system processing. Pain Physician 2012;15(5):405-13.