What is whiplash?

Common Symptoms Following Whiplash

Neck Pain ————————————————————– 92%

Headache ————————————————————– 57%

Fatigue —————————————————————— 56%

Shoulder pain ———————————————————- 49%

Anxiety ——————————————————————- 44%

Interscapular pain —————————————————-  42%

Low back pain ——————————————————— 39%

Sleep disturbance —————————————————- 39%

Upper limb paresthesia ———————————————- 30%

Sensitivity to noise —————————————————- 29%

Impaired concentration ——————————————– 26 %

Blurred vision ——————————————————– 21%

Irritability ————————————————————– 21%

Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) ——————————- 16%

Dizziness ————————————————————– 15%

Forgetfulness ——————————————————— 15%

Upper limb pain —————————————————— 12%

Upper limb weakness ———————————————– 6%

Tinnitus (ringing in ears) ——————————————– 4%

Jaw/facial pain (TMJ) ———————————————— 4%+

Facts About Whiplash Injuries

Common myths:

  • Low speed rear impact crashes (LOSRIC) don’t cause injuries.
  • Injuries heal in 6-12 weeks.
  • Litigation has an effect on the patient’s recovery.
  • The patient’s pre-injury psychological makeup affects recovery.
  • Greater vehicle damage=greater occupant injury.
  • Accident reconstructionists can predic injury potential.

Crash facts:

  • Most injuries occur at crash speeds below 12 mph.
  • Most cars withstand 8-12 mph impact without structural damage.
  • More then half of all LOSRIC injuries occur without vehicle damage.
  • There is no correlation between vehicle damage and outcome.
  • The peak acceleration of the head is much greater than the peak acceleration of the vehicle.
  • A 5 mph ΔV (delta V or “Change in velocity”) crash typically produces about 10-12 g of acceleration of the occupant’s head.

Occupant Injury Thresholds on rear end Collisions

Whiplash stats all crashes


ΔV over 12mph


ΔV 6-12mph


ΔV under 6mph

Statistics of whiplash injury:

  • More than 3 million Americans are injured this way each year.
  • The reported risk of injury in a low speed rear impact crash (LOSRIC) is 35-68%. The Japanese Automobile Insurance Rating Association reports a 50% neck injury rate.
  • About 10% of those injured become permanently disabled.
  • “Minor” neck injuries account for up to 60% of all permanent impairment claims.
  • So, for every 6,000,000 occupants in LOSRIC:

1. About 3,000,000 will be injured.

2. About 1,500,000 will have chronic pain. About 300,000 of these will also become disabled; usually due to pain.

  • Nearly half of all chronic neck pain in America is due to car crashes – mostly LOSRIC.
  • About 9% of all Americans suffer from chronic neck pain due to LOSRIC
  • Kids are at 2/3 the risk of adults.

Risk factors for injury and/or poor outcome:

  • Rear directionimpact.
  • Limited range of motion; neurological symptoms after crash
  • Ligamentous instability after crash.
  • Degenerative disease, headaches, or neck injury or pain prior to crash.
  • Head turned at impact, or occupant in poor position at impact.
  • Non-awareness of impact.
  • Non-failure of seat back.
  • The use of seat belt/shoulder harness.
  • No head restraint or poor heaf restraint position.
  • Female gender or advanced age.

Real world occupants?

The injury threshold for females, or those caught unaware, or those with:

  • Head turned
  • Prior injury
  • Prior headaches
  • Prior neck pain
  • Poor head restraints
  • Poor position in car
  • Arthitis
  • Advance age
  • Disc diseas
  • Shoulder harness
  • Rear impact
  • Non-failure of seat

will usually drop below 5 mph, particularly with multiples of these risk factors.

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Contact info:
Office Phone (801) 901-4261
Address is: Utah Health Center 5526 Van Winkle #A, Murray, UT 84117