Whiplash: A true story

The immense forces transmitted through vehicles during a crash do not discern adults from children. One of my younger patients who has recently been suffering from crash related injuries brought me a very special present - a book about her journey to recovery:

Title page about child injured in crash
Child injured in crash page 2
Whiplash injury in children Portland OR
Whiplash injuries in children successfully treated

If you or your children have whiplash from a crash, don't delay your treatment. Call us today.

Rear Ended?

Whiplash injuries are what we treat at Manual Medicine & Rehabilitation Center PC in Portland OR. While insurance companies try to deny or minimize the severity of these injuries, real life videos such as this demonstrate several important factors:
  1. Watch the video in normal speed.  Total crash duration is often a fraction of a second.  In fact, auto injuries typically happen in such a short span of time that vehicle occupants often cannot recall details of how their body moved in the crash.  Questions such as "did you head hit anything inside the vehicle?" are often answered in the negative - only to have telltale bruising show up soon after.
  2. Other body parts frequently are involved directly.  Arms often hit dashboards, shoulders frequently impact windows or B-Pillars, and heads connect with air-bags, windows or B-Pillars as well.  The range of injuries can be great.
  3. Now watch the latter portion of the video to see it in slow motion.  You can see how much the seat is thrust into the driver, and the resulting rapid extension of the neck.  It becomes obvious why rear impact crashes (rear ended) can cause severe injury.

Some factors of this crash are in the driver's favor. Other factors aren't.

Head restraint was at the right height.However, the backset of his head restraint was excessive allowing too much extension of the neck.
At the last second, he turned his head to face forward. Having your head turned at impact is a risk factor for greater cervical injuries (whiplash).The vehicle that struck him (Ford F150) was of greater mass than the car. Due to laws of physics, the momentum (p) is relative to mass (m) and velocity (v). It is the change in velocity (acceleration) that causes the injuries.
A significant amount of rear bumper damage occurred to the Challenger. While repairs such as this are often costly, they also serve to dissipate crash energy, theoretically reducing injuries to the occupants. It also increases the crash duration. Since injuries are largely related to acceleration (or deceleration in some instances), increasing crash duration reduces the change in velocity. Remember, a = delta v / time.

These are just a few factors that we consider at Manual Medicine & Rehab when diagnosing and treating your whiplash injuries. It is our passion to help convey this information to your insurance company or attorneys involved in your case. If you've been in a crash, call us. We can help.