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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Whiplash Causes Working-Disability in 58% of Cases

Whiplash Causes Working-Disability in 58% of Cases

Clinicians that are working with traumatically injured patients must understand how injuries can relate to working disability and persistent functional losses. In a recent study by Buitenhuis, de Jong, Jan, Jaspers, and Groothoff (2009), the authors state, “Research has shown that up to 40% of neck complaints may become chronic and persist for at least a year” (p. 262).

Medical-legal professionals need to understand the research related to chronic persistent symptoms in injury victims. This current study, published in 2009, focused on work disability after whiplash. Image Compliments of Medical Legal Art via The Doe Report ( Copyright © 2010 Medical Legal Art, All rights reserved. The authors reported, “A total of 58.8% of the studied population with neck complaints was work-disabled after the accident” (Buitenhuis et al., 2009, p. 266). The authors of this study also included concentration complaints along with the pain complaint. “In line with previous research, concentration complaints were found to be related to concurrent work disability at 12 months” (Buitenhuis et al., 2009, p. 266).

In working with trauma victims, it is critical that cognitive complaints are included in assessment when appropriate. Omission of these fundamental functional problems leads to much misunderstanding in the medical-legal world.

Lastly the authors reported, “No evidence emerged to indicate that the degree of manual labor (blue or white collar work) or educational level was involved in persistent work disability in postwhiplash syndrome” (Buitenhuis et al., 2009, p. 267). Understanding that it is not just the physical complaints that are causes of disability is a very important aspect of working with trauma victims, especially those with whiplash injuries.


Spine & Injury Centers of San Antonio is a local network of 5 chiropractic offices. As a group, we are raising the standard of care for injured patients and their families.

If you have recently been in a car accident, or had a personal injury, sports injury, or exercise injury, and are experiencing back pain, neck pain, knee pain, whiplash, headaches, leg pain, etc, our San Antonio injury chiropractors can help!

Our goal is to get you back to living a pain-free life as quickly as possible.

Click here to find a San Antonio chiropractor near me.


Buitenhuis, J., de Jong, P. J., Jaspers, J. P. C., & Groothoff, J. W. (2009). Work disability after whiplash: A prospective cohort study. Spine, 34(3), 262-267.


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