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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Whiplash Causes Stenosis

Whiplash Causes Stenosis



Whiplash victims often complain about numbness and tingling in their arms or legs, along with intense burning and shooting pain. A portion have also presented with balance and coordination issues. It has long been discussed that injuries to the spinal nerve roots or the cord itself are involved with these types of symptoms. However, no studies have actually evaluated the mechanism of these injuries.


Panjabi, Maak, Ivancic, MPhil, & Ito (2006) conducted a “biomechanical study of intervertebral foraminal narrowing during simulated automotive rear impacts” (p. E128). This study objectified how nerves are injured and what levels are typically involved. They concluded that “acute ganglia compression may produce a sensitized neural response to repeat compression, leading to chronic radiculopathy following rear impact” (p. E128).

Most importantly, they found that “significant dynamic narrowing…in foraminal width at C5-C6 and foraminal area at C4-C5 occurred, beginning at 3.5g impacts” (p. E133). This simply means that nerves are damaged with considerably less force in rear impacts due to compressive forces of the vertebrae in relation to each other. When evaluating the traumatically injured, a clinician that understands how forces affect spinal biomechanics is paramount.



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Reference:

Panjabi, M. M., Maak, T. G., Ivancic, P. C., & Ito, S. (2006). Dynamic intervertebral foramen narrowing during simulated rear impact. Spine, 31(5), E128-E134.


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