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Mechanics of whiplash injury “ChiropractorBoulder”
Hello this is Dr. Douglas Kennedy. I am a chiropractor in Boulder Colorado. I used acupuncture and chiropractic techniques, along with a wide variety of physical therapy techniques, to help people quickly recover from car accident injuries. “Whiplash” is a term that refers to the soft tissue injuries in the neck and shoulder region that are associated with being hit abruptly from the rear by another vehicle. Special thanks to the Spine Research Institute of San Diego and Dr. Arthur Croft, DC. I attended seminars by Dr. Croft and am using his slides to illustrate the mechanics that are involved with a rear-end accident. A significant rear end accident may occur at speeds as low as 5 mph.
Phase1 (first 100 mSec)- When the car is hit from the rear, the back and torso of the driver will load the seat. Torso acceleration begins. High shear forces developed in the neck. Spinal curves straighten and the spine is compressed. High pressure gradients develop in the brain; high brainstem shear forces are developed.
Phase2 (100-250 mSec)- Vertical motion of torso and straighten the spine allow vertical rise of 3 1/2 inches. The head snaps into full extension or back pending extending over the head restraint in collapses it. The restraint acts as a fulcrum in many cases because it is not set high enough to prevent the rearward movement of the head. TMJ injury is possible with high compression and the joint.
Phase 3 (250-400 mSec)- The head begins in its forward motion. The torso descends in the seat. Seat back bounce increases the occupant velocity to 30-70% more than that of the car. Slack is taken out of the shoulder harness. The seat is acting like a spring throwing the body forward.
Phase 4 ( 400-600 mSec)- this involves the full deceleration of head, neck, and torso; aggravated by shoulder harness. The high tension and shear forces in the spine are maximized at this point in time with severe flexion. There is high brain stem, spinal cord, and nerve root tension developed. The posterior or rearward ligamentous complex is under maximal tension at this point in time.
The most common symptoms following a whiplash injury are:
, headaches, fatigue, shoulder pain, anxiety, interscapular pain, low back pain, sleep disturbances, upper limb numbness and tingling, sensitivity to noise, impaired concentration, blurred vision, irritability, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, forgetfulness, upper limb pain, upper limb weakness, ringing in the ears, and jaw or facial pain from TMJ injury.
Having a chiropractic clinic in Boulder Colorado, in the zip codes of 80301, 80302, 80303, 80304; I have seen many car accident patients due to our winter weather. For a map of our location please click Boulder chiropractor and acupuncture.
If you are having neck or back pain from a recent car accident, Dr Kennedy is offering a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (303) 546-6325 and mention this article or video.
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