The ABC’s of Rear Finish Collisions and Whiplash: A Guide for Accident Victims

Whiplash injuries were noted because the commence of our mechanized society. With the introduction of locomotives and travel by train healthcare personnel noted individuals had been complaining of headaches, neck discomfort, back discomfort and blurred vision. All of these individuals had been passengers on a passenger car that were hit sharply from behind by one more railroad car as it was getting coupled. At the turn of the 19th century, this phenomena was referred to as “railway spine”

This very same group of symptoms is now referred to as “whiplash” that describes the mechanism of injury involved in rear Finish collisions. Rear Finish crashes at low speeds come about just about every day on our streets and the drivers and passengers of these automobiles practical experience the symptoms of whiplash. Crash research have shown that the acceleration of is really about 2 occasions the acceleration of the car following getting hit from behind. This reality explains how injuries can come about without having apparent harm to the automobile. This situation continues to worsen given that car manufactures have constructed vehicles to withstand collisions up to ten miles per hour with no visible harm.

This complete phenomena has designed a big health challenge due to the fact pretty much ten% of our adult population has now been impacted with pretty much six million collisions just about every year resulting in half getting hurt in these accidents. Luckily, might injured in these accidents can recover with correct therapy by educated experts.

A Common Rear Finish Crash

You are minding your own enterprise even though stopped at an intersection waiting for a green light although a person crashes into your rear fender. The other driver has been speaking on his/her cell telephone and does not stop in time just before slamming into your car. Immediately after the initial shock, you appear into the rear view mirror and choose to confront the person who hit you and verify for harm to you car. You do not come across any harm to either car, however you exchange insurance coverage information and facts and choose to get in touch with a policeman to report the accident. Just after arriving on the scene, the patrolman writes his report citing the other driver for failure to take due care and notes that there are no injuries reported and there is no apparent harm.

The above situation happens numerous instances each and every day in a enormous city and extra than two million such accidents are reported every single year nationwide. Lots of far more are never ever reported since persons are in a hurry and they do not comprehend that these accidents cause real harm to the ligaments in the neck and the cervical spine. The discomfort symptoms are ordinarily delayed and can start out days, or even weeks later. People today that do have discomfort symptoms are sent to the hospital to verify for severe spinal injuries and released.

In the subsequent couple of paragraphs, you will discover how injuries come about in low speed accidents with out apparent harm to your car.

The information and facts presented are primarily based on true studies and crash tests recorded with a higher speed camera and technical instruments connected to the drivers. We monitor ongoing studies designed by the Spinal Studies Center of San Diego, which is an company that specializes in whiplash and the resulting trauma. Crash tests are organized every single year to train physicians.

Why Did You Get Hurt?

Most rear Finish accidents come about at speeds beneath 20 mph, so how can they be that unsafe? The cause is quite uncomplicated. Detroit tends to make vehicles that are constructed to withstand crash tests that you see on tv. Aspect of the design is to produce bumpers withstand low speed crashes of 12 mph, but the threshold of injury established by studies is only five mph. This indicates that if your car is stopped for visitors then is propelled to a speed of only five mph by an additional car, that is sufficient power to create a whiplash injury.

The accident requires location over the brief period of only 300 milliseconds, or much less than a single-third of a second. The reaction of your torso and head can be described in 4 phases as follows:

(1) The initial phase begins with the torso moving backward into the seat back with the cervical and thoracic spines straightening. the head rises a couple of inches since of thee spine straightening and the foot stress on the brake is in all probability relaxed.

(two) At this point in the sequence, the automobile is at peak acceleration, which is 1.five to two occasions the acceleration of the automobile. The head has not however commence to move forward and continues to move backward, and slack may possibly create in the shoulder harness. The head comes down on the headrest causing anxiety and shear in the neck, and worse most likely the possibility for flexion injury.

(3) In the third phase, the head and neck are at peak acceleration and the auto acceleration has stopped. the brake stress is possibly reapplied, which accentuates the deceleration phase and increases the possibility for a flexion injury.

(four) In the final phase, complete flexion happens against the restraint method and the occupant experiences higher neck anxiety, torsion and compression. This is the most injurious phase of the whiplash.


Relative Size of Automobile behind You: Bigger mass cars like trucks are incredibly risky even at extremely low speeds. Keep away from dodging in front of Bigger automobiles and maintain a safe distance amongst automobiles.

Improper Head Restraint: Most drivers are unaware of the appropriate use of the head restraint. If the head restraint is also low, the head can quickly go over the head rest and cause much more really serious injury. Adjust the restraint so it is level with your head, or even a tiny high.

Awareness: The driver might decrease the impact of the whiplash if he/she can brace themselves prior to impact. Research have shown that lengthy term disability is 15 occasions additional probably in unaware motorists. Push your self all the way back in the seat and brace oneself!

Gender: Studies shows that females are injured twice as typically as men in low speed rear Finish collisions. Females too have extended-term disability of much more than ten% than men, and they ordinarily have a a lot more chronic course.

Head Position: Motorists that have their head rotated at the moment of impact are adversely impacted considering the fact that other ligaments can be torn through the whiplash trauma. Appear straight ahead with head against head restraint.

Stature: Shorter drivers are commonly at significantly less risk than taller drivers considering that they are much better secure by the seat back and head rest.

Age: Studies means that kids are at much less risk than adults. Reports differ in between two/3 and 1/16 the risk. Older persons ordinarily require longer healing time, yet research are inconclusive.


A lot more Myth and Misinformation Than Reality If you are involved in the legal approach for any explanation, you will note that most will interpret the information to suit their own desires and appeal to Standard sense interpretations that are not primarily based on studies or real information.

“No Crush, No Money” A single myth is that driver injury should be accompanied by car harm. It has been shown that crash harm does not correlate with injury severity and outcome research confirm this. Car bumpers are constructed to withstand 12 mph crashes.

Delayed Onset of Symptoms Reflects Badly Defense attorneys will claim that delays in looking for aid imply that complaints are fabricated for the explanation of profit. The immediately after points summarize the studies on this challenge:

  1. A delay in onset of symptoms is most Typical
  2. The highest intensity of discomfort is noticed at 72 hours post-injury
  3. Shoulder troubles create in half of victims inside months
  4. 50% of disc protrusions turn into symptomatic inside six weeks
  5. Post concussion syndrome can turn out to be manifest hours to weeks right after injury
  6. A second wave of symptoms could take place months later

Outcome In spite of overwhelming proof to the contrary, might physicians think that whiplash heals spontaneously and devoid of residuals inside a period of six-12 weeks. One particular survey asking orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, neurosurgeons and family members practitioners for their opinions about whiplash concluded that 25% of all groups believed that prolonged symptoms had been psychogenic in origin. This is the very best proof that chiropractors are greatest equipped to deal with the whiplash phenomenon.

Variety of Injuries Observed in Whiplash

  • Dizziness and otoneurological problems
  • Ligament injuries in cervical spine
  • Post traumatic pressure disorder
  • Visual disturbances
  • Brain injuries
  • Mentrual problems
  • Spinal cord injuries: Rim Lesions, Internal Disc Disruptions, Disc Protrusion, Hematoma, Scar Formation, Luigament Injury


DC’s have the most knowledge Chiropractors have the most practical experience in treating these circumstances and they give the broadest Variety of care. The ongoing studies in the location of whiplash is generated pretty much exclusively by the chiropractic profession.

DC’s have complete diagnostic capability Chiropractors can be productive case managers due to the fact they can order imaging research, laboratory tests and elector-diagnostic tests. We operate with a lot of professionals in the location to create the suitable diagnostics and therapy.

DC’s supply each spinal care and physical remedy modalities Chiropractors offer not only spinal adjustments, however too deep tissue remedy and physiotherapeutic interventions.

DC’s offer house care, nutrition, physical exercise directions guidance on every day living Chiropractors offer a complete Variety of suggestions on how to treat injuries and instruct sufferers how to take charge of their own health.

Complete med-legal cooperation Chiropractors offer assist in the form of open channels of communication, timely and effectively written reports and expert testimony even though necessary.

Jeffrey T. Berard, D.C.
Spine & Sport Rehab Institute
286 S University Drive
Plantation, FL 33324
(954) 452-4600