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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Whiplash Causes Instability in the Cervical Spine

Whiplash Causes Instability in the Cervical Spine



Whiplash injuries are caused by shearing forces between the skull, neck and upper back during motor vehicle accidents. They have been associated with both acute and chronic symptoms due to injuries to the intervertebral discs, the soft tissue surrounding the spine and the ligaments that hold the vertebrae together. A recent study by Ivancic et al. (2008) studied the forces distributed through the ligaments holding the joints in the cervical spine together.


The results showed whiplash forces are capable of tearing the cervical capsular ligaments, demonstrating a biomechanical basis for prolonged neck pain in whiplash victims.


Ligaments have a relatively poor blood supply and wound healing often results in scar tissue formation, Facet Syndrome and clinical instability, accounting for the long-term pain in victims.



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Reference:


Ivancic, P. C., Ito, S., Tominaga, Y., Rubin, W., Coe, M. P., Ndu, A. B.,...Panjabi, M. M. (2008). Whiplash causes increased laxity of cervical capsular ligament. Clinical Biomechanics, 23(2), 159-165.


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