Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Whiplash and Auto Accidents

Whiplash and Auto Accidents

  1. A Minor Accident Equals A Big Problem Presented
  2. From the State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles The following crash information is compiled from traffic crash reports (long form) submitted by Florida Law Enforcement Agencies: *Low-speed crashes are when no vehicles are traveling over 10 mph and does not include bicycles or pedestrians.
  3. “ The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, in 1995, there were 5,500,000 Americans injured in motor vehicle crashes (MVCs).” Freeman, Croft, Rossignol, Weaver, Reiser (1999-01-01). “A Review and Methodologic Critque of the Literature Refuting Whiplash Syndrome.” Spine 24(1), p. 86-98.
  4. There were an estimated 6,289,000 car accidents in the U.S. in 1999. There were about 3.4 million injuries and 41,345 people were killed in auto accidents in 1999. Freeman, Croft, Rossignol, Weaver, Reiser (1999-01-01). “A Review and Methodologic Critque of the Literature Refuting Whiplash Syndrome.” Spine 24(1), p. 86-98.
  5. 39.6% of those injured in a rear-end motor vehicle crash have chronic neck pain seven years later. This means that there is an approximate three times increased probability for neck pain for those injured in a motor vehicle crash seven years later. J Clin Epidemiol. 2000. Nov;53(11)1089-94
    • The primary injury is to the soft tissues.
    • The initial injury causes an increased mobility of the injured joints (increased flexibility).
    • The injuries result in substantial percentage of individuals with chronic symptoms.
    • The injuries can not be identified with available imaging methods.
    • With time, symptoms may become chronic because of clinical instability.
    • The most common site of injury is at C5-C6 level, and injury occurs in extension.
    MM Panjabi, K Nibu, J Cholewicki. (1998-06-01). “Whiplash injuries and the potential for mechanical instability.” Eur Spine J . 7(6):484-92.
  6. Victims of motor vehicle crashes are likely to develop chronic and multiple symptoms. In North America, motor vehicle crash soft tissue injuries of the neck are increasing, even though fatal motor vehicle crashes are decreasing. These injuries can result in substantial levels of disablement, even following a rear-end collision that seemed innocuous at the time of the crash. Whiplash injuries can create physical and psychological problems for an individual, as well as a financial burden for both the individual and society. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain. A prospectice study of acceleration-extension injuries following rear-end motor-vehicle crashes . Vol. 8(½), 2000, p. 97-113.
  7. Damage begins within 2 weeks of having a car accident. This injury to the spine causes a cycle of degeneration that leads to nerve damage. Research shows that if left uncorrected, permanent scar tissue forms. Wound Healing: Alternatives in Management p 18-19.
  8. At 6% strain, the function of the nerve had decreased by 70% in one hour. The nerve returned to normal during the recovery period. At 12% strain, the nerve was completely blocked after one hour. Minimal recovery ocurred. Wall EJ, Massie JB, Kwan MK, Rydevik BL, Myers RR, Garfin SR: Experimented stretch neuropathy. Changes in nerve conduction tension. J Bone Joint Surg Br January 1992; 74(1), pages 126-129.
  9. Dr. Sharpless states, “It takes the pressure of a dime on a nerve to take away 60% of its function.” Sharpless, SK: Susceptibility of Spinal Roots to Compression Block, NINCDS Monograph 15, DHEW publication (NIH) 76-998, 1975, p 155-161.
  10. A Broken Wrist Is An Event...
    • And it is treated like an event…it is set & put in a cast.
    • BUT THEN it takes time to heal!
    • Healing is a process and all processes take time.
  11. 75% of patients with whiplash injuries will heal spontaneously in 2-3 months. These patients sustained minor injuries to their muscles and ligaments, but not to their discs or zygophyseal joints. Bansley, Lord, Bogduk. Whiplash Injury: Clinical Review . Pain 58, 1994, 283-307.
  12. One-third of all patients with whiplash injuries were still symptomatic 2 years after the accident. The other two-thirds were symptom-free by the end of 2 years. Of these patients, 88% were symptom-free within 2 months. Barnes & Allen, Whiplash Injutries of the Neck: A Retrospective Study , p. 395.
  13. 10% of patients with whiplash injuries develop constant severe indefinite neck pain. 1% of the people in the entire population have chronic neck pain caused by whiplash injury. 0.4% of the people in the entire population have severe chronic neck pain caused by whiplash injury. Bansley, Lord, Bogduk. Whiplash Injury: Clinical Review . Pain 58, 1994, 283-307.
  14. 25% of patients with whiplash injuries will progress to chronic symptoms. These patients injured their intervetebral discs, zygapophyseal joints, or alar ligaments. These patients will not resolve spontaneously and they do become chronic. Bansley, Lord, Bogduk. Whiplash Injury: Clinical Review . Pain 58, 1994, 283-307.
  15. After 2 years follow-up, 44% of those initially presenting with only symptoms had residual complaints. 81% of those with initial symptoms and physical findings were symptomatic, while those with neurologic involvement were 90% symptomatic. Hohl, The Cervical Spine , Fractures and Dislocations, p. 440.
  16. In An Automobile Accident...
    • Women are more vulnerable to injury.
    • Women are more likely to suffer long-term consequences from an injury.
    Accident Analysis & Prevention. How crash severity in reat impacts/influences short and long-term consequences to the neck . Vol. 32, Issue 2; March 2000; p. 187-195.
  17. Rear End Collisions Deans, Neck Sprain - A Major Cause of Disability Following Car Accidents , p. 10. Holm, in The Cervical Spine , Lippincott, 1989, p. 440. Rear-end collisions cause extension-acceleration whiplash injuries, which are considered to cause the greatest damage. Follow-up x-rays taken an average of 7 years after injury in one series of patients without prior roentgenographic evidence of disc disease indicated that 39% had developed degenerative disc disease at one or more disc levels since the injury.
  18. Head Rotation Cailliet, Neck and Arm Pain , F.A.Davis Company, 1981, p. 85. McCain, Clinical Spectrum and Management of Whiplash Injuries , p. 316. If the head is turned at the moment of impact, there is increased injury on the side to which the head is turned, as: “not only will the already narrowed foramen be compressed more, but the torque effect on the facets, capsules, and ligaments will be far more damaging.”
  19. The head being turned at the moment of impact increases injury.
    • When the hyperflexion-hyperextension or hyperextension-hyperflexion occurs with head rotation present, the pattern of tissue injury is different, and the extent of damage produced is always more severe. Rotation increases stress in certain soft tissue structures, which then reach their limit of motion at an earlier point, thus resulting in more severe injury with less application of force.
    Webb, Whiplash: Mechanisms and Patterns of Tissue Injury , Journal of the Australian Chiropractors’ Association, June, 1985. McCain, Clinical Spectrum and Management of Whiplash Injuries , p. 316.
  20. Lack of Awareness Ryan, Neck Strain in Car Occupants: Injury Status after 6 Months and Crash-Related Factors , p. 536. McCain, Clinical Spectrum and Management of Whiplash Injuries , p. 316. Sturzenegger, The Effect of Accident Mechanisms and Initial Findings on the Long-Term Course of Whiplash Injury , p. 446-447. Being caught by surprise or being unaware prior to impact worsens the prognosis.
  21. A Pre-Existing Degenerative Condition Cailliet, Neck and Arm Pain , F.A. Davis Company, 1981, p. 103. Turek, Orthopaedics Principles and their Applications , Lippincott, 1977, p. 740. The injury may be compounded by the presence of degenerative disc disease of the spine. With advancing age, especially in the presence of degenerative disc disease, the tissues become inelastic and are easily torn.
  22. Gray’s Anatomy, page 4, states “The nervous system regulates and coordinates all functions of the body.” (This includes seeing, digesting, breathing, eliminating, etc.) The autonomic nervous system regulates the actions of organs, glands, and blood vessels. Thermography (heat scan) allows the chiropractor to detect interference in your nervous system from the injury.
    • 3rd Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. (Heart Disease, Cancer)
    • 1. 180,000 Iatrogenic Injury
    • 3 Jumbo Jet Crashes every 2 days - JAMA 1994
    • (Swissair Jet Flight 111-229 Die)
    • 2. 106,000 Drug Reactions
    • 3. 80,000 Medical Malpractice
    • According to the Dean of the University of Arizona: College of Pharmacy, “We spend $75 billion for drugs annually and $76 billion of the problems caused by drugs.”
  25. Pain Pill Research Overuse Linked to Kidney Damage A study, published in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine , found that the risk of kidney failure appeared to be doubled by either heavy average use (more than 365 pills in a year) or moderate cumulative use (more than 1,000 pills in a lifetime). IBUPROFEN Brand Names : Advil, Nuprin Advantages : Relieves pain, fever, and inflammation. Disadvantages : Interferes with clotting. May cause stomach bleeding, ulcers and irritation. Heavy or prolonged use may damage liver and kidneys. ACETAMINOPHEN Brand Names : Tylenol, Datril Advantages : Relieves pain and fever. Does not irritate stomach. Disadvantages : Heavy or prolonged use may damage liver and kidneys. NAPROXEN Brand Names : Aleve Advantages : Relieves pain and fever. One dose lasts 8-12 hours. Disadvantages : May cause stomach bleeding, ulcers and irritation. Prolonged use may harm kidneys. Associated Press. Studies , p. A7
  26. Did You Know...
    • People over 60 make up about 17% of the U.S. population, but they take 40% of all prescribed drugs and average 8 different drugs each year?
    • In 1991, the average American was prescribed 6½ drugs, and the average cost of each was $22.50?
    • The drug business is now the most profitable business in America, and today more than 50% of the world’s drugs are consumed in the U.S.?
    • In 1979, the average American was prescribed one drug per year with an average cost of $5.50?
    • Chiropractic is based on two facts of reality:
    • The body is a self-healing and self-regulating organism (if you cut yourself, it will heal).
    • The nervous system is the master system and controller of the body.
    • Therefore, if there is any interference with nerve function, there must then be interference with healing and regulation. People do not lose their health do to the lack of drugs in the blood, etc…Something inside is interfering with health expression. Let me explain what a vertebral SUBLUXATION is...
  27. Following the chiropractic treatment, 93% of the patients had improved. “ The results of this retrospective study would suggest that benefits can occur in over 90% of patients undergoing chiropractic treatment for chronic ‘whiplash’ injury.” Woodward, Cook, et al. (1996). “Chiropractic treatments of chronic ‘whiplash’.” Injury 27(9), p. 643-645.
  28. A retrospective study from the journal Injury , in 1996, demonstrated that chiropractic treatment benefited 26 of 28 patients (93%) suffering from chronic whiplash syndrome. Khan, Cook, Gargan, Bannister. Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine 21(1), 1999, p. 22-25.
  29. Controlled experimental and clinical trials have yielded convincing evidence that early, controlled mobilization is superior to immobilization for musculoskeletal soft-tissue injuries. The superiority of early controlled mobilization is especially apparent in terms of producing quicker recovery and return to full activity, without jeopardizing the long-term rehabilitative outcome. The Physician and Sports Medicine. Immobilization or early mobilization after an acute soft-tissue injury ? Vol. 26, No. 3; March, 2000, p. 55-63.
  30. Chiropractic Adjustments...
    • This controlled movement allows the injured tissues to heal better and quicker
    • This controlled movement improves the fluid exchanges of the disc and synovial fluid, which reduces pain and joint degeneration.
    • This controlled movement initiates a neurological sequence of events that causes pain inhibition. (Decreases the Pain)
    Murphy. Whiplash Overview 2001 .
  31. Should I Be Evaluated?
    • Neck Pain
    • Neck Stiffness
    • Shoulder Pain
    • Headache
    • Pain Between Shoulder Blades
    • Back Pain
    • Numbness/Tingling
    • Pain in Arms
    • Pain in Legs
    • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
    • Blurring/Double Vision
    • Difficulty Swallowing
    • Pain in Wrists/Hands
    • Pain in Ankles/Feet
    • Loss of Memory or Concentration
    • Ringing in Ears
    • Pain in the Face/Jaw

Friday, February 19, 2010

5 Wellness Tips

Five Wellness Tips
In between your visits to our office, there are lots of things you can do to keep your body - especially your back - healthy. If this sounds familiar-well, we've been talking to your mother. Just so happens she was right:
  1. Sit up straight.
    Develop the habit of good posture. It makes a world of difference in the way your back feels.
  2. Eat your vegetables.
    A good diet is important to your overall health-all those nutrients help your body repair itself. And, you want to keep your weight down. Carrying extra weight puts extra strain on the back.
  3. Turn off the TV.
    Get up and move. Go for a walk. Add exercise to your regular routine. And when you have to sit for long periods, stretch regularly.
  4. Put that down.
    Don't lift things that are too heavy for you. (And if you have to, you know what they say-lift with your legs, not your back.) Don't carry around a backpack stuffed full of books (especially not on one shoulder) or a heavy bag if you can avoid it. The key is to minimize. Only take what you really need.
  5. Go to sleep. Sleep is essential for your wellbeing. Just don't sleep on your stomach, which can strain the muscles in your neck and back. Practice sleeping on your side or back.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Whiplash Stone Mountain Doctor


Whiplash is an injury caused by the neck and head being thrown suddenly backward then forward upon impact. The impact forces the neck and head beyond their normal range of movement, causing tissue damage and pain.

But what is Whiplash?

Causes of Whiplash:

Car accidents
A sports injury
Shaken baby syndrome (which is child abuse)

Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash is a term used most often to describe the symptoms resulting from a car accident. A victim of whiplash may experience any or all of these symptoms:
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulders
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Poor concentration or memory
  • Neck pain/stiffness
  • Tight muscles
  • Tenderness in the muscles
  • Low back pain
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Loss of motion in the neck

It's Best to See a Doctor
Even without symptoms, it is a very good idea to see a doctor in the case of a car accident. There can be damage without symptoms, or there can be delayed symptoms. Your doctor can help to determine the location and extent of the damage and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

According to a study done in 2006 at the Medical College of Wisconsin, whiplash due to a rear end collision can be prevented with positioning of the head close to the headrest


1. Whiplash. (2005). In MedlinePlus [Web]. National Institute of Health. Retrieved 12 22 2006, from

2. Stemper, Brian, Ph.D., Yoganandan, Narayan, Pintar, Frank, (2006).Effect of head restraint backset on head-neck kinematics in whiplash.. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 38, 317-323.