3 Million Whiplash Injuries A Year from Vehicle Crashes
Did you know that over three million whiplash injuries occur each year resulting from motor vehicle crashes?
Of these whiplash injuries, 500,000 people will develop chronic pain, and up to 300,000 will have some degree of disability. Apart from the effect on health, there’s a significant cost to society. Approximately $43 billion of total annual HARM is attributable to whiplash and related injuries.
(HARM is a metric for quantifying the total societal cost of road trauma.)
Dr. Zachary Ward of Life In Alignment Chiropractic says consumers need to be educated about the issues surrounding whiplash – both concerning its treatment and ts prevention. In his personal experience, few victims of whiplash injury understand that getting treatment sooner is better than waiting. Many are aware that physical therapy and rehabilitation can be important parts of recovery, however, many also don’t know that they have options in treatment which include gentle chiropractic techniques developed exclusively for the injured neck.
In order to more treat persons injured in motor vehicle crashes more effectively, Dr. Ward recently became certified in Whiplash and Brain Injury Traumatology through the Spine Research Institute of San Diego (SRISD), a research center devoted to the investigation of motor vehicle crash injury.
For the past 28 years, SRISD has focused research and education on the more common injuries sustained in everyday motor vehicle crashes, such as whiplash and mild traumatic brain injuries.
As part of this 48-hour training program, Dr. Ward studied the epidemiology of whiplash and brain injuries. Training including evaluating the mechanical factors of motor vehicle crashes, and reviewing the kinds of physical injuries that can occur after a crash.
Other topics in the training included the unique needs in examining a potential whiplash injury, including the use of imaging technologies like CT, MRI, and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) among others.
Understanding crash mechanics help us understand how to care for patients
Dr. Ward learned how to provide patients with effective and comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation strategies to increase the likelihood of patient healing. The program also included an intense discussion of forensic risk analysis which considers how the various known risk factors can increase a person’s chance for injury or long-term symptoms. Forensic risk analysis is an important part of understanding a patient’s potential for improvement and return to pre-crash health, especially in cases that require arbitration or litigation.
“By understanding the unusual biomechanics of this form of trauma, diagnostic methods and treatment can be more effective,” said Dr. Ward.
About the Spine Research Institute of San Diego
The Spine Research Institute of San Diego (SRISD) provides research and education on spinal health and injury prevention, in particular, cervical spine injuries resulting from whiplash trauma. Since 1992, the Institute offers the only available multi-module training program for health care professionals on critical aspects of whiplash traumatology. Dr. Arthur C. Croft is director of SRISD and is considered a leading national authority on whiplash trauma. He is the author of Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries, published by SRISD Press, along with several other textbooks, chapters, and over 350 professional papers. For more information, visit www.srisd.com.