- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Pain Quiz!
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Whiplash - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Whiplash - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Whiplash - Experience
What can be done to prevent whiplash?
While it is not always possible to prevent accidents, advances in automobile safety have attempted to reduce the associated risks. Many advances in seat belts and head restraints have been able to reduce the risk of whiplash injury. The proper use of these devices is crucial to their success in preventing injury. Head restraints are designed to prevent the head from moving into hyperextension when struck from behind. In order for this to work properly, the head restraint should be optimally positioned directly behind the head. If the head restraint is lowered below the level of the head it could actually force the head into further hyperextension after an impact. Many automobiles have additional safety equipment including air bags and air curtains to further protect drivers and passengers from injury.
Medically reviewed by Aimee V. HachigianGould, MD; American Board of Orthopedic Surgery
Crowe H. Injuries to the cervical spine. Western Orthop Assoc., San Francisco, CA, 1928.
Spitzer WO, Skovron ML, Salmi LR, et al. Scientific monograph of the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-Associated Disorders: redefining whiplash and its management. Spine 1995;20:2S-73S.
Freeman MD. A review and methodologic critique of the literature refuting whiplash syndrome. Spine 1999;24:86-98.
Bogduk N. The anatomy and pathophysiology of whiplash. Clin Biomech 1986;1:92-101.
Kaneoka K, Ono K, Inami S, Hayashi K. Motion analysis of cervical vertebrae during whiplash loading. Spine 1999;24:763-770.
Panjabi MM, Cholewicki J, Nibu K, et al. Simulation of whiplash trauma using whole cervical spine specimens. Spine 1998;23:17-24.
McKinney LA, Dornan JO, Ryan M. The role of physiotherapy in the management of acute neck sprains following road-traffic accidents. Arch Emerg Med 1989;6:27-33.
Mealy K, Brennan H, Fenelon GC. Early mobilization of acute whiplash injuries. BMJ 1986;292:656-657.
Rosenfeld M, Gunnarsson R, Borenstein P. Early intervention in whiplash-associated disorders. A comparison of two treatment protocols. Spine 2000;25:1782-1787.