Whiplash injuries have been extensively studied and researched. Most observers really have no idea of what that person is experiencing. There are thousands of scientific studies describing every aspect of injuries, vehicle dynamics, short term affects, and long term consequences.
Common Symptoms Following Whiplash In Order Of Prevalence
- Neck pain
- Headache (a,b,c)
- Interscapular pain
- Back Pain
- Extremity pain/weakness
- Cognitive difficulties ( a )
- Dizziness/light-headedness ( a, b, c )
- Facial pain and TMJ related symptoms (clicking; closed lock; etc.)
- Auditory symptoms (phonophobia; tinnitus; loss of hearing) ( a, b, c )
- Vertigo ( a, b )
- Ocular dysfunction (blurred vision; photophobia) ( a, b )
- (a) May be part of postconcussion syndrome (PCS)
- (b) May be part of Barré-Liéou syndrome
- (c) May be part of TMJ dysfunction
Numerous studies have provided a clear understanding of risk and injury profile as listed above. Motor vehicle collisions cause injury to the spine and the number one structure damaged is to the facet joint capsules, and facet injury alone can cause significant damage to the ligaments. This injury has long term consequences that will lead to degenerative changes within two years. The injury can extend to involve the intervertebral disc and also the anterior longitudinal ligament or posterior longitudinal ligament. Injuries to the intervertebral disc and anterior longitudinal ligament are more serious than facet capsular injuries, which occurs during the extension phase of the impact in rear end collisions and more likely to result in clinical instability. Although Augustas White, MD, and Manohar Panjabi, PhD, first described the evaluation of clinical instability in 1975, the analysis remained unchanged 15 years later when they published the Second Edition (1990) of their authoritative text, Clinical Biomechanics of the Spine. In the past 20 years, since 1990, there have been a few updates as to the assessment of clinical instability that varies slightly from the original work of White and Panjabi. Augustas A. White, MD, and Manohar M. Panjabi, PhD. Dr. White is Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School, as well as Orthopedic Surgeon-in-Chief at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. Dr. Panjabi is Professor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at Yale University School of Medicine.
For decades, bio-mechanical engineers and accident Reconstructionist have not examined patient/plaintiff ─ Medical/Chiropractic/Osteopathic opinions are or should be the exclusive domain of the Medical/Chiropractic/Osteopathic profession and physicians are the only experts to provide admissible opinion testimony relating to injury causation ─ Did this rear-end collision cause injury to this patient/plaintiff? What injuries were caused by this collision? How do these injuries affect this patient/plaintiff?
Whiplash researchers have been determining the tissue sources of whiplash injury pain, especially for chronic whiplash injury pain. We need to work as a team – medical / chiropractic / osteopathic and the legal professions, if we are to continue to protect our patients and or clients. Researchers have provided us with very valuable tools but we must take each patients file and manage them very well. In the current climate of peer review and independent medical examiners we need to become better physicians and better attorneys and use the tools that are available to us, while working as a TEAM. Personal Injury Institute will provide the tools and the resource to bring that TEAM together.