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The Myth of "Low Speed Collisions"
Insurance adjusters claim that if there was minor vehicle damage during a crash, that injury is impossible. The fact is that there is no relationship between vehicle damage and injury.
No Vehicle Damage = No Injury. Right?
Car crashes with minor vehicle damage are a little confusing; if the car wasn't damaged much, it must have been a very minor crash, and so the occupant shouldn't be injured. Right?
In fact, researchers have specifically looked at this problem, and have found that there is no relationship at all between the amount of damage a car received in a crash and the amount of occupant injury.
Here are the facts about low impact collisions:
Minor vehicle damage may mean that there was very little impact, but it also could simply mean that the vehicle was very rigid. In this article on the myth of low impact collisions we show a crash with very little vehicle damage can actually be more dangerous than one with extensive damage.
Bumpers are designed to protect cars — not people. Here's a great video that explains how stiffer bumpers are "better" — but only for repair bills, not your neck! Click here to watch the bumper video.
Neck Pain After Whiplash
During a rear-end collision, the head and torso are thrust in opposite directions in a very short period of time. So it is not surprising that most of the symptoms of whiplash are centered in that part of the body between the head and the torso — the neck.
The neck is made up of a complex network of bones, discs, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles — and all of them can be injured in a crash. The sections below discuss the anatomy of these types of injuries.
This is probably the most common type of injury from a crash. Muscle injury often heals quickly after whiplash, but in some cases, recovery can be more difficult. Scar tissue of the neck muscles can lead to nerve problems, like thoracic outlet syndrome.
Go to Muscle Injury After Whiplash (Fill out form)
The ligaments are the fibrous bands of tissue that hold the bones of the spine together, and a number of studies have shown that the ligaments can be stretched or torn from whiplash injury.
Go to Ligament Injury After Whiplash (Fill out form)
The discs are the "shock absorbers" of the spine, padding the space between the vertebrae. The discs can be injured when the spine is rapidly accelerated during whiplash. Disc injuries can result in numbness or tingling in the arms, and can even become herniated from a crash.
Go to Disc Injury After Whiplash (Fill out form)
During a severe crash, the vertebrae themselves may fracture.
Go to Bone Injury After Whiplash (Fill out form)
Many important blood vessels travel through the neck, and the medical literature has found that they can be injured during the violent motion that occurs during a crash.
Go to Vascular Injury After Whiplash (Fill out form)
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If you live in Springville, Oneonta, or anywhere in Blount County. If you have been in an automobile accident please be sure to have your injuries evaluated by a professional that specializes in auto accident trauma.
Car accidents are the source of degenerative disc disease in many individuals.
Please don't let your most recent auto accident be the start of a life time of debilitating pain.
Call Dr Mark Dailey for the Oneonta or Springville office as soon as possible for a free phone consultation.
4 Phases of a Whiplash Injury
by Shawn Pallotti, D.C.
Half of a second is not a long time but long enough to stretch nerves, tear ligaments and tendons, herniate disks, and slap the brain into the side of the skull. This all happens through 4 stages of acceleration.
Each one is distinct and has its own damaging effects on the body. Maybe even more disturbing is that the body received substantially more acceleration than the vehicle.
Dr. Guy says," There is no doubt that the practice of comparing vehicle damage to the degree of human injury is naïve.
The car is struck and begins to move underneath you. Your mid back is flattened into the seat. Your body lifts towards the roof of the car. The neck and the low back flatten and the disks compress. The head violently moves backward. The neck restraint will protect you some; reducing injury by 11-20% (if adjusted properly) but most of the injury will occur before your head hits the seat. The axial compressive force on the spine is in the range of 33 pounds.
Your head reaches full acceleration but continues to move forward. This produces a shearing force on the neck. An S-curve develops in the spine. The foot is drawn away from the brake resulting in more acceleration. This is a dangerous situation that can result in disk, ligament, muscle, and facet damage. This facet damage often is difficult to see on imaging and can result in pain years after the accident.
Both the head and shoulders are at peak acceleration while the vehicle is slowing down. The head and shoulders are moving forward and the torso is forced into the seat. The feet press back down on the brake which makes the deceleration more violent. The shoulder restraint protects you from being ejected from the vehicle but can cause contusions across the chest and ribs.
This is the most damaging phase. The seat belt causes a violent flexion of the neck. The muscles and ligaments are strained and the fibers of the disks can tear. Vertebrae can misalign at this phase. As your head is jerked forward the brain can smack the inside of your skull resulting in brain damage. This damage can manifest in the form or memory loss and head aches. If you are not restrained properly this can result in further damage by hitting the windshield and steering wheel.
"At an impact speed of 20 mph the human head reaches a peak acceleration of 12 G during extension."
Hanley & Belfus
Dr Mark Dailey is considered an expert in whiplash recovery as well as injuries arising from car accidents, automobile accidents, motor vehicle accidents and injuries of all kinds. In many cases the care costs nothing and is free to the patient.
Whiplash has been known to cause headaches and neck pain as well as several chronic conditions.
Dr Mark Dailey has offices in Oneonta and Springville Alabama.
Auto accident injuries can cause neck pain, arm pain , back pain, even leg pain. These can turn into long term problems so we advise those involved in a car accident to seek Immediate medical attention.