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Understanding Whiplash.

It’s becoming more and more apparent over the years that “fender benders” are damaging more than just our cars. Ask any of the millions of Americans across the country that have had this common accident and you’ll find there’s a very good chance they also have new health problems as a result.

More than 3 million people in America suffer from whiplash injury every year. Approximately 50 percent (over 1,500,000) of these victims will suffer from chronic pain. Approximately 10 percent (over 300,000) of those people become permanently disabled as a results of their injuries.

Whiplash, Fact or Fiction?

Whiplash is an injury resulting from a sudden sharp movement of the neck and head (as of a person in a vehicle that is struck from the rear).”

Several of the myths associated with whiplash injuries are:

  • If you’re hit from behind at low speed, you wont be injured.
  • The more damage to your vehicle, the more severe your injuries.
  • If you’re injured, the injuries will completely heal within 1 ½ to 3 months.

In a human crash test study where the vehicle sustained an impact of approximately 8 mph, the researchers found some interesting facts.

  • The vehicle that was hit experienced acceleration of approximately 2g (two times the force of gravity).
  • The occupants torso experienced acceleration of more than 1 ½ times that of the vehicle (approximately 3g)
  • The occupants head experienced acceleration of more than 2 ½ times that of the vehicle (approximately 5g)

As you can see, occupants experience much higher forces than the vehicle that they are riding in, and are therefore at much higher risk of injury/damage than their vehicle. Patients with whiplash type injuries commonly have any of following symptoms, which is only partial list:

  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shoulder pain
  • Anxiety
  • Pain in between the shoulders blades
  • Low back pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sensation changes in their arms
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Vision changes
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Arm pain and/or weakness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Jaw/face pain



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