Anatomy of a Whiplash Injury
Dr. Larissa and I have been trained in Personal Injury by the best in the business. We have almost 700 hours of continuing education in the medical/legal arena.
Dr. Arthur Croft not only wrote the books on chiropractic and motor vehicle collisions,but he performed human crash studies that proved that property damage is not linked to injury.
In this crash Vc is the bullet vehicle traveling at 8.6mph. Delta V is the speed in which the car that is hit from the rear is traveling after the collision, 6.7mph. The head acceleration is the speed in which the occupants head is thrown relative to gravity = g forces of 15.
Now we all are subject to 1 g of forces. Our head weighs between 8 and 10 lbs. So in this example the crash occupants head undergoes stress of 120-150lbs of force for about 1/2-1/3 of a second as it is whipped first back then forward.
As the forces move thru the vehicle our body’s first undergo compressive forces down then quickly elongate into tensile forces as the head is put into bending forces. Sheer forces on the arms can cause hand, arm and shoulder injury.
Our spine can elongate up to 4 inches so watch your head clearance and your head rest should be high to mitigate damages.
Then your body is thrown forward against the seat belt and shoulder harness. As the head whips forward it causes bending forces, sheer forces, and tensile forces on the spine.
The brain can become concussed with these whip like forces as the brain and the skull move independently because of their different densities. This phenomenon is called coup-contrecoup, where the brain bounces inside of the skull.
All of this happens in an instant and your car is designed to withstand these forces of less than 10mph and show little to no damage.
The lesson I want you to learn from this is, if you or a loved one is ever in a crash get yourself checked out. You have 1 chance to be made whole after a motor vehicle collision and if you fail to get the right care or timely care research shows you will likely face a lifetime of chronic pain and disability.