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Whiplash

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

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

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

  • 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

New Auto Accident?

Visit the Utah Health Center New Patient Canter to Get Started!

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