At Pivonka Chiropractic in Gilbert, Dr’s Andy and Patty Pivonka, Gilbert Chiropractors have seen hundreds and hundreds of auto accident patients over their 20+ year careers. I that period of time a common theme has presented itself. Patients who have a near normal neck curvature experience less neck injuries in rear-end collisions than patients who don’t. This is due to the fact that when the neck is in it’s normal lordotic position the joints in the neck are aligned and the neck is strong, however, when the neck curve is lost the joints in the cervical spine are not properly aligned and are therefore not strongly locked together, making injuries from a rear-end collision more common.
Researchers have stated that having a well preserved cervical curve like the one presented here prevents neck tissue damage to the sensitive cervical spinal ligaments.
The same researchers also state that straightened neck curves or worse reversed neck curves are predisposed to more serious neck injuries. Thus if you wish to prevent injuries that may occur in a rear-end collision is it a good idea to rehabilitate your neck curve back to normal prior to having a car accident to limit the likelihood that neck injuries will occur ( ref 1 ).
Why is cervical curve rehabilitation a wise idea before a rear-end collision? Well when looking at long term pain and suffering, several research studies have identified that people who end up with long term injuries after a whiplash are the ones that have abnormal neck curves before the car accident (ref 2-6). The common lasting symptoms after a rear-end collision with a bad neck curve are
-neck pain and stiffness
-thoracic outlet syndrome
-lack of concentration
-degenerative arthritis in the neck
-disk herniations in the neck
The problem is though most rear-end collisions statistically damage the shape of the neck curve. Chiropractic researchers have identified that the average person exposed to a rear-end collision will lose 10 degrees of their cervical curve, develop a mid neck reversal and have increased forward head posture as a result of the auto accident. (ref 7) But if the neck curve is normal prior to the accident the curve loss and joint injuries are limited greatly.
Pivonka Chiropractic in Gilbert use the most updated methods in the profession to rehabilitate neck curves back to normal before and after car accidents. Call today to schedule a time to have your neck evaluated to see if we can help. Pivonka Chiropractic, Chiropractors in Gilbert (480) 892-0022.
Dr. Andy Pivonka
References and links to the pubmed research articles:
1 Stemper et al. Journal of Biomechanics 2005: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15863116
2 Kai et al. Journal of Spinal Disorders 2001: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Kai+Journal+of+Spinal+Disorders
3 Hohl M. Journal of bone and Joint Surgery Am. 1974: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4434036
4 Norris SH and Watt I. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1983: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6643566
5 Giuliano V. Emergency Radiology 2002: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15290548
6 Kristjansson E, et al. JMPT 2002: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Kristjansson+E+Journal+of+Manipulative+and+Physiological+Therapeutics
7 Harrison DE, Katz E. Abnormal static sagittal cervical curvatures following motor vehicle collisions: Literature review, original data, and conservative management strategies. Proceedings of the International Whiplash Trauma Congress 2006; Portland, OR, June 2-3, pages 24-25.