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Biomechanics and whiplash understanding motion causing neck problems

Understanding the biomechanics of a whiplash injury can shed light on the nature of the injury and the likely extent of damage to the neck.

Research findings reported at the 1998 Stapp Car Crash Conference (and carried out at the Dutch TNO Crash Safety Research Centre) reflect European car manufacturer concerns about whiplash injuries.

Head and torso movements were evaluated, along with movement of the head in relation to the first thoracic vertebrae (T1) during whiplash.

It was found that there is immediate flexion upon impact in a car accident where the spine is compressed and then restores itself to its former state before the head touches the headrest.

When the cervical spine is compressed, it doesn't have the same power of resistance that it normally has. A 40 pound load on the spine reduces the efficiency of facet joints by up to 70 per cent.

A low-speed car accident that occurs at just six or nine mph can put a load of around 50 pounds on the cervical spine.

The studies found a significant difference in the amount of spine compression and the weight that could be tolerated in men and women and a direct correlation was found between neck size and G forces. A 20 per cent reduction in neck circumference was found to double head acceleration rates.

Stapp car crash conference
This conference is a global forum for issues relating to impact biomechanics, human injury tolerance and car accident personal injury protection. The conference gives researchers worldwide the chance to discuss the causes and mechanisms of personal injuries from road traffic accidents, experimental methods and tools for biomechanics research.

Read more about Stapp at

Whiplash compensation claims
You can suffer from whiplash whether you have had a minor prang or your car is a total write-off. Either way, if you have whiplash, we know it is painful and that the effects of your personal injury may not show for some time.

Soft tissue injuries in a sensitive area of the body like the neck can be particularly worrying as pain can last for some time and the nervous system and brain can be affected. If your brain doesn't function properly, the rest of your body won't work properly either.

We deal with thousands of whiplash cases every year and support people who have been involved in a road traffic accident who want to seek compensation because they know the accident was not their fault.

We work on a no win, no fee basis. What this means is that, in the event your case is not successful, you won't be charged a penny. It means that making a claim is a completely risk free process - this lets you focus on getting better, not worrying about money.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so why not give us a call on 0800 197 32 32 or fill in our online form to get a response from one of our highly qualified team of personal injury advisors now.