New Whiplash Research

Up Trap Ext

New Whiplash Research 

Motor vehicle crashes cause 50 million injuries worldwide and nearly four million emergency department consultations annually in the US. (1,2) I thought you might be interested in reviewing three new studies concerning the most common non-hospitalized injury resulting from a motor vehicle crash – whiplash associated disorder (WAD). 

1. The first study concluded approximately 50% of individuals with WAD experience on-going pain and disability. (3) This finding concurs with existing research that found only around 50% of those with WAD will fully recover, with 30% remaining moderately to severely disabled; creating significant personal, economic, and social distress. (4)

2. Elsewhere, researchers discovered “Motor impairment was observed (to) a higher degree in patients with chronic WAD. These impairments were linked to self-reported disability and were in most cases associated with pain, fear-avoidance, and symptoms of central sensitization.” (5)

3. The final study found that following a whiplash injury, healthy muscle is replaced by fat: “Development of muscle fat infiltration in the neck muscles is associated with poor functional recovery following whiplash injury. Statistically significant differences in regional fatty infiltration were particularly notable between the severe WAD group and healthy controls.” (6)

Our providers stay abreast of the latest research to help your injured clients recover quickly and to provide you with evidence-based, credible documentation and testimony for challenging cases. We are honored to care for your injuries and will work hard to maintain your trust as an informed and capable partner.


1. Niska R, Bhuiya F, Xu J. National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2007 emergency department summary. Natl Health Stat Report. 2010;26:1–31. 
2. Tanskanen A, et al.  Impact of multiple traumatic experiences on the persistence of depressive symptoms – a population-based study. Nord J Psychiat. 2004;58(6):459–64.
3. Ritchie C, Ehrlich C, Sterling M. Living with ongoing whiplash associated disorders: a qualitative study of individual perceptions and experiences. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2017;
4. Carroll LJ, et al.  Course and prognostic factors for neck pain in whiplash-associated disorders (WAD): results of the bone and joint decade 2000–2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008;33(4 Suppl):S83–92.
5. De Pauw, R. et al. Motor impairment in patients with chronic neck pain: does the traumatic event play a significant role? – a case control study. 2018 Jan 19. pii: S1529-9430(18)30011-1. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2018.01.009. [Epub ahead of print]
6. Abbott, Rebecca et al.. The Qualitative Grading of Muscle Fat Infiltration in Whiplash Using Fat/Water Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Spine J 2017 Sep 5. pii: S1529-9430(17)30907-5. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2017.08.233. [Epub ahead of print]

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