San Mateo Chiropractic
16 W 41st Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94403
Tel 650-345-7010

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650 El Camino Real, #S
Redwood City, CA 94063
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Auto Accident


WAD (Whiplash Associated Disorder) is the scientific term that describes the whiplash injury.

A 2005 published Canadian study of 7462 people who met criteria for whiplash injury and provided information regarding demographics and injury related symptoms concluded the following:

What is commonly referred to as whiplash associated disorders (WAD) is best appreciated as a syndrome extending well beyond what can be labeled as a neck injury. More research is needed for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms involved so that treatment can be directed at the broad spectrum of the illness rather than focusing on finding a focal neck injury.

Source: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2005;64:1337-1342

Auto accidents or motor vehicle collisions may result in soft tissue injuries. Extent of injury can depend on the collision force, collision direction, vehicle mass, vehicle design, vehicle safety design (seat belt, air bag, headrest) and the human body itself.

Frontal collisions are the most fatal type of the accidents, while the rear-end collision are responsible for most soft tissue injuries.

There are two possible injury mechanisms that occur, exactly at the same point during the whiplash:

  1. Muscle Injury
  2. Cervical Facet Injury

Reference: Rauhala K, Oikarinen KS, Raustia AM. Role of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) in facial pain: occlusion, muscle and TMJ pain. The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice9;17(4):254-261.

A single application of whiplash acceleration pulse can induce soft tissue–related and ligament-related alterations to cervical spine structures
Yoganandan N, Cusick JF, Pintar FA, Rao RD. Whiplash injury determination with conventional spine imaging and cryomicrotomy. Spine 2001;26(22):2443-2448

Altered cervical spine structure may lead to decrease or reversal of cervical curve and accelerate the degenerative process or osetoarthritis in cervical spine.  

93% of whiplash patients improve with chiropractic care
Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M, Bannister G. A symptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment. [Abstract] World Congress on Whiplash-Associated Disorders 1999;p. 238.

A weight bearing (standing or sitting position) X-ray study of the neck (cervical spine) can provide an objective measurement for cervical curvature and the means to evaluate the extent or absence of spinal decay or osteoarthritis

Spinal decay or osteoarthritis that is commonly referred as “arthritis” is a contributing factor in progressive chronic neck pain. This contributes to the progressive reduction of movement of the neck (cervical ranges of motion) that can be measured objectively. .

Range of motion (ROM) of the cervical spine is an indispensable tool in the diagnosis and assessment of whiplash-associated disorders (WAD)

Range of cervical motion was reduced in persons with persistent whiplash-associated disorders

1. Dall’Alba PT, Sterling MM, Treleaven JM, et al. Cervical range of motion discriminates between asymptomatic persons and those with whiplash. Spine 2001;26(19):2090-2094.
2. Gargan M, Bannister G, Main C, et al. The behavioural response to whiplash injury. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery [Br] 1997;79B:523-526.
3. Jordan A, Mehlsen J, Ostergaard K. A comparison of physical characteristics between patients seeking treatment for neck pain and age-matched healthy people. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1997;20:468-475.


If you are in pain after a motor vehicle collision or suffering  from a car accident injury, please call us to, make an appointment  or just request an appointment on this web site 24 x 7.

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