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What Can Happen To You

There is too much to lose here to just let any provider treat this.

Not convinced? Look at the long term outcome studies regarding this condition and see what important information that they tells us. Look at what this statistics say. They are self explanatory, and after words realize again why it is so important to find someone who understands what to do for this condition (4): 

In the longest study ever performed on whiplash-injured patients (a study looking at the health status 17 years after injury), 55% of the patients still suffered from pain caused by the original trauma. (Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2002) (4)

It is estimated that 15-40% of those who are injured in a motor vehicle collision will suffer from ongoing chronic pain. (Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2007) (4)

That essentially 100% of those who are suffering from chronic pain caused by a whiplash injury will have an abnormal psychological profile with standard assessments, and the only way to resolve the abnormal psychological profile was to successfully treat the chronic spinal pain. Psychotherapy was not able to improve the abnormal psychological profile, nor was it able to improve the patient’s chronic pain complaint. (Pain, 1997) (4)

Whiplash injuries not only increase the incidence of chronic neck and shoulder pain, it also significantly increases the incidence of other systemic ill health effects. In other words, whiplash injuries cause more than neck pain and headache, it hurts the health of the entire body. (Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 2001) (4) 

1 in every 100 (1%) people on our planet suffer from chronic neck pain caused by whiplash injury. (Pain, 1994) (4) 

And of course this last research quote aligns perfectly with the study above of those that had history of whiplash injury and showed twice the amount of neck pain, low back pain, headaches, breathing problems, digestive problems and cardiac problems. “Whiplash injuries cause more than neck pain and headaches, it hurts the health of the entire body.

Below in the references there are an additional 40 studies that show the long term dismal effects that can come from these types of injuries. They show just how poorly so many people do with a supposedly simple spinal sprain injury. Please take the time to review them, (9-49). For ease of understanding we have put the chronicity (chronic pain) statistics from these types of injuries in red and we think you will be very surprised at these numbers!

Here is another quote that you should find interesting. This is directly from Medical Guidelines that are published on the subject and therefore, doctors who treat spinal injuries read these Guides, so they can better understand what they are doing. Note that they state that chronic pain develops for injuries to the ligament of the spinal facets called capsular ligaments, the spinal disc (a large spinal ligament) and to the upper cervical ligaments. Look how they also say that there is no direct correlation between the magnitude of impact and the degree of possible injury. This is also why you need a doctor who knows how to examine your actual injury, regardless whether there was a lot of damage to the care, or the fall was from a short distance, etc.

“A cervical strain occurs when muscles around the neck stretch or tear. A sprain occurs when the ligaments stretch or tear. The terms “cervical acceleration-deceleration injury,” “CAD,” or “whiplash” may also be used to describe the clinical findings of neck pain, particularly after a motor vehicle collision.” (54) 

“Chronic pain develops in some patients who have experienced a cervical strain/sprain injury. It may be associated with injuries to the joints in the back of the cervical spine (facet joints), discs, and upper cervical ligaments. There is no direct correlation between the magnitude of impact and the degree of injury, although immediate onset of neck pain may be a predictor for chronic pain.” (54) 

Perhaps not every provider should be treating these types of injuries! This type of injury may not be for every provider on the block to treat! The long term consequences of delay in proper diagnosis can of course lead to a delay in proper treatment. As a matter of fact your very health may depend on finding a doctor who can properly diagnose the severity of you spinal sprain injury.

The reported frequency of missed injuries in the cervical spine varies from 4% to 30%. (5, 6) The most common reason cited for missed injuries is an inadequate radiographic examination. (7)When injuries are missed on initial assessment, a delay in diagnosis occurs that puts the patient at risk for progressive instability and neurologic deterioration. (8)

This means that the doctor who focuses in these types of injuries has got to understand how to assess them using x-ray examination. Where do you find this type of doctor?  


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nociceptor

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanoreceptor

3. http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=31944

4. www.thechiropracticimpactreport.com

5. Bohlmann HH. Acute fracture and dislocations of the cervical spine: An analysis of three hundred 
patients and review of the literature. J Bone Joint Surg Am 1979: 61:1119-42

6. Gerrets BD, Petesen EU, Mabry J, Petersen SR. Delayed diagnosis of cervical spine injuries. J Trauma 

7. Reid DC, Henderson R, Saboe L, Miller JD. Etiology and clinical course of missed spine fractures. J Trauma 

8. Davis JW, Phreaner DL, Hoyt DB, Mackersie RC. The Etiology of missed cervical spine injuries. J Trauma 1993;34:342-6.

9. Gotten N. Survey of One Hundred Cases of Whiplash Injury after Settlement of Litigation. JAMA 1956; 162(9):865-867.n(46% of patients were chronic at >1-year follow-up)

10. ,Macnab I. Acceleration Injuries of the Cervical Spine. J Bone Joint Surg (Am), 1964; 46:1797-1799.(45-83% chronic at >2-year follow-up)

11. Hohl M. Soft-Tissue Injuries of the Neck in Automobile Accidents. J Bone Joint Surg (Am), 1974; 56(8):1675- 1682.(43% chronic at >5-year follow-up)

12. Ellertsson AB, Sigurjousson K, Thorsteinsson 1. Clinical and Radiographic Study of 100 Cases of Whiplash Injury. Acta Neural Scand (SuppJ), 1978; 67:269.(12% chronic at 1.5-year follow-up)

13. Norris SH, Watt I.The Prognosis of Neck Injuries Resulting from Rear-End Vehicle Collisions. J Bone Joint Surg (Br), 1983;n 65(5):608-611.(44-90% chronic at 2-year follow-up)

14. Deans GT, Magalliard IN, Rutherford WHo Incidence and Duration of Neck Pain Among Patients Injured in Car Accidents. Br Med J, 1986; 292(6513):94-95. (26% chronic at 1-year follow-up)

15. Ebbs SR, Beckly DE, Hammonds JC, Teasdale C. Incidence and Duration of Neck Pain Among Patients Injured in Car Accidents. Br Med J, 1986; 292:94-95.(26% chronic at 1-year follow-up)

16. Deans GT, Magalliard IN, Kerr M, Rutherford WHo Neck Sprain-A Major Cause of Disability Following Car Accidents. Injury, 1987; 18(1):10-12. (26% chronic at 1-year follow-up)

17. Maimaris C, Barnes MR, Allen MJ. "Whiplash Injuries" of the Neck: A Retrospective Study. Injury, 1988; 19(6):393-396. (34% chronic at 2-year follow-up)

18. Miles KA, Maimaris C, Finlay D, Barnes MR. The Incidence and Prognostic Significance of Radiological Abnormalities in Soft Tissue Injuries to the Cervical Spine. Skeletal Radial, 1988; 17(7):493-496. (29% chronic at 2-year follow-up)

19. Pearce JM. Whiplash Injury: A Reappraisal. J Neural Neurasurg Psychiatry, 1989; 52(12):1329-1331. (15% chronic at 1-year follow-up)

20. Hodgson SP, Grundy M. Whiplash Injuries:Their Long-Term Prognosis and its Relationship to Compensation. NeuralOrthop, 1989; 7:88-99. (14-62% chronic at 10-15-year follow-up)

21. McKinney LA. Early Mobilization and Outcome in Acute Sprains of the Neck. BMJ, 1989; 299(6706): 1006- 1008. (23-46% chronic at 2-year follow-up)

22. Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Long-Term Prognosis of Soft Tissue Injuries of the Neck. J Bone Joint Surg, 1990; 72B(5):901-903. (88% chronic at 10.8-year follow-up)

23. Hildingsson C, Toolanen G. Outcome After Soft-Tissue Injury of the Cervical Spine. Acta Orthop Scand, 1990; 61 (4):357-359. (58% chronic at 2-year follow-up)

24. Pennie BH, Agambar LJ. Whiplash Injuries: A Trjal of Early Management. J Bone Joint Surg, 1990; 72B(2): 277- 279. (13% chronic at 6 months follow-up)

25. Kischka U, Ettlin 1; Heim S, Schmid G. Cerebral Symptoms Following Whiplash. Eur Neurol, 1991; 31 (3):136- 140. (44-61% chronic at >2-year follow-up)

26. Radanov Bp, Di Stefano GO, Schnidrig A. Ballinari P: Role of Psychological Stress in Recovery from Common Whiplash. Lancet, 1991; 338(8769):712-715.(27% chronic at 6 months follow-up) ,

27. Watkinson A, Gargan MG, Bannister GC. Pro'9'rn:>stic Factors in Soft Tissue Injuries of the Cervical Spine. Injury, 1991; 22(4):307-309.(86% chronic at 10.8-year follow-up)

28. Ettlin 1; Kischka U, Reichmann S, et al. Cerebral Symptoms After Whiplash Injury of the Neck: A Prospective Clinical and Neuropsychological Study of Whiplash Injury. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 1992; 55(10): 943- 948. (35-41-29% chronic at 2-year follow-up)

29. Hildingsson C, Wenngren Bl, Toolanen G. Eye Motility Dysfunction After Soft Tissue Injury of the Cervical Spine. Acta Orthop Scand, 1993; 64(2):129-132. (45-34% chronic at > 1-year follow-up)

30. Parmar HV, Raymaker R. Neck Injuries from Rear Impact Road Traffic Accidents: Prognosis in Persons Seeking Compensation. Injury, 1993; 24(2):75-78. (55% chronic at 8-year follow-up)

31. Radanov Bp, DiStefano G, Schnidrig A, Sturzenegger M, Augustiny KF. Cognitive Functioning After Common Whiplash: A Controlled Follow-up Study. Arch Neural, 1993; 50(1 ):87-91.(32% chronic at 6 months follow- up)

32. Randov Bp, Di Stefano G, Schnidrig A. Sturzenegger M. Psychosocial Stress, Cognitive Performance and Disability After Common Whiplash. J Psychosom Res, 1993; 37(1):1-10. 
(27% chronic at 6 months follow-up)

33. Robinson DO, Cassar-Pullicino VN. Acute Neck Sprain after Road Traffic Accidents: A Long-Term Clinical and Radiological Review. Injury, 1993; 24(2):79-82.(86% chronic at 10-19-year follow-up)

34. Gargan MF, Bannister GC. The Rate of Recovery Following Whiplash Injury. Eur Spine J, 1994; 3(3):162- 164.(48-62% chronic at 1 to 2-year follow-up)

35. Jonsson H, Cesarini K, Sahlstedt B, Rauschning W. Findings and Outcome in Whiplash-Type Neck Distortions. Spine, 1994; 19(24):2733-2743. (48% chronic at the end of study)

36. Radanov BP, Sturzenegger M, Di Stefano G, Schnidrig A. Relationship Between Early Somatic, Radiological, Cognitive and Psychosocial Findings and Outcome During a One Year Follow-up in 117 Patients Suffering from Common Whiplash. Br J Rheumatol, 1994; 33:442-448. 
(24% chronic at 1-year follow-up)

37. Ryan GA, Taylor GW, Moore VM, Dolinis J. Neck Strain in Car Occupants: Injury Status After 6 Months and Crash-Related Factors. Injury, 1994; 25(8}:533-537. (66% chronic at 6 months follow-up)

38. Oi Stefano G, Radanov BP. Course of Attention and Memory After Common Whiplash: A Two-Year Prospective Study with Age,Education and Gender Pair-Matched Patients. Acta Neural Scand, 1995; 91(5): 346-352.(18% chronic at 2-year follow-up) 

39. Radanov Bp, Sturzenegger M, Di Stefano G. Long-Term Outcome AfterWhiplash Injury. A 2-Year Follow-Up Considering the Features of Injury Mechanism and Somatic, Radiologic, and Psychosocial Findings. Medicine (Baltimore), 1995; 74(5):281-297. 
(30-24-18% chronic at 6 months, 1 and 2-year follow-up) 

40. Borchgrevink GE, Lereim I, Royneland L, Bjorndal A, Haraldseth 0: National Health Insurance Consumption and Chronic Symptoms Following Mild Neck Sprain Injuries in Car Collisions. Scand J Sac Med, 1996; 24(4):264- 271. (58% chronic at >2.5-year follow-up)

41. Mayou R, Bryant B. Outcome of 'Whiplash' Neck Injury. Injury. 1996; 27(9):617-623. (49% chronic at 1-year follow-up)

42. Squires B, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Soft-Tissue Injuries of the Cervical Spine 15-year Follow-Up. J Bone Joint Surg (Br), 1996; 78(6):955-957.(70% chronic at average 15.5-year follow-up)

43. Borchgrevink GE, StilesTC, Borchgrevink PC, Lereim I. Personality Profile Among Symptomatic and Recovered Patients with Neck Sprain Injury, Measured by MCMI-I Acutely and 6 Months After Car Accidents. J Psychosom Res, 1997; 42(4):357-367.(28% chronic at 1-year follow-up)

44. Gargan M, Bannister G, Main C, Hollis S. The Behavioral Response to Whiplash Injury. J Bone Joint Surg, 1997; 79B(4):523-526. (64% chronic at 2-year follow-up) .-.f.~

45. Karlsborg M, et a!. A Prospective Study of 39 Patients with Whiplash Injury. Acta Neural Scand, 1997; 95(2):65- 72. (71% chronic at 7 months follow-up)

46. Pettersson K, Hildingsson C, Toolanen G, Fagerlund M, Bjornebrink J. Disc Pathology After Whiplash Injury. A Prospective Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Clinical Investigation. Spine, 1997; 22(3):283-287. (15-44% chronic at 2-year follow-up)

47. Voyvodic F, et al. MRI of Car Occupant with Whiplash Injury. Neuroradiology. 1997; 39(1 ):35-40. (62% chronic at 6 months follow-up)

48. Borchgrevink GE, et a!. AcuteTreatment of Whiplash Neck Sprain Injuries. A RandomizedTrial of Treatment During the First 14 Days After a Car Accident. Spine, 1998; 23(1):25-31. 
(41-66% chronic at 6 months follow-up)

49. Olivegren H, Jerkvall N, HagstromY, Carlsson J. The Long-Term Prognosis of Whiplash-Associated Disorders (WAD). Eur Spine J,1999; 8(5):366-370. (100% chronic at 2-year follow-up)

50. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/306176-clinical

51. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesion

52. http://www.freemd.com/spinal-subluxation/overview.htm

53. http://www.ijoonline.com/article.asp?issn=0019- 

54. http://www.mdguidelines.com/sprains-and-strains-cervical-spine-neck