- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 90% of those who are initially given a cervical collar for their whiplash injuries will be suffering from chronic neck pain 6 months later.(Spine, 2000)
- 2% of whiplash-injured patients will have severe pain and problems that require ongoing medical investigations and drugs 7.5 years after being injured.(Injury, 2005)
- 1 in every 100 (1%) people on our planet suffer from chronic neck pain caused by whiplash injury.(Pain, 1994)
The Motor Vehicle Collision Injury Problem
Statistically, every American can expect to be in a motor vehicle collision once every ten years. Motor vehicle collisions have been the number one cause of death of our children for decades. Since 911 (September 11, 2001), about 3,000 Americans have died as a consequence of terrorism; about 360,000 Americans have died in motor vehicle crashes. Since the start of the American Revolution in 1775, about a million Americans have died in our wars. Since Henry Ford introduced the mass-produced motorcar in 1913, more than 2.5 million Americans have met their deaths on the road. And millions of Americans who did not die from motor vehicle collisions were injured.
The Bottom Line...
To understand whiplash injury and treatment, it is most important to know the answers to these three questions:
- What tissues are injured in a motor vehicle collision?
- What tissues are the primary sources for chronic spinal pain?
- What tissues are primarily affected by the chiropractic adjustment?
Astonishingly, the answer to all three questions is the same:
The tissues in and around the spine, including but not limited to the facet joints and the tissues of the disc jointsConsequently, it is inevitable that some whiplash-injured patients will develop chronic pain and that chiropractic is often the best management choice for these patients.