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Whipped Out Of Alignment

Recently I have seen several cases of whiplash from rear-end collisions.  To fully understand the mechanism of injury, I decided to do some research.  I wanted to know why it was that a mild accident could cause significant damage to the people in the vehicle.  The facts I found are below:

  • Most cases of Whiplash occur in rear-end accidents of LESS THAN 14 mph. 
  • Women have 2x the risk of whiplash due to their typically thinner and less rigid cervical spines or necks. 
  • Most common symptoms are neck pain and/or stiffness, headaches and numbness or tingling in the arms/hands. 
  • Research indicates that as many as 67% of victims begin showing symptoms, or secondary conditions or whiplash, up to 12-24 hours following the collision.  

The research I read continually reiterated that the amount of vehicle damage IS NOT equal to the amount of damage to the person.  In fact, less vehicle damage may mean more damage to the person.  Instead of the vehicle absorbing the force of the collision, the force is absorbed by the passengers of the vehicle – resulting in shifts in the cervical spine and injury to the spinal segments.

My greatest concern when working with whiplash patients is restoring normal structural integrity by addressing any NeuroStructural Shifts.  Doing so in a timely fashion is imperative to avoid long-term damage or dysfunction as the longer a spine remains damaged, the lower the possibility of a full recovery.  I urge all people to schedule a spinal check-up soon after a rear-end accident.

Dr. Chris Hanson