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22 Whiplash Statistics You Should Know

22 Whiplash Statistics You Should Know ChiroCare of Florida
January 6, 2017
Last Updated: February 1st, 2024 at 06:35 pm
Read Time: 4 Minutes

Whiplash injuries can create lifelong pain. In fact, recent whiplash statistics demonstrate that more than 50% of victims progress to some degree of chronic pain.

Most people assume that whiplash injuries are caused by being hit from behind by another vehicle while in your car. However, there are several other ways you can incur a whiplash injury, such as being hit from the side, falling from a horse or bicycle, or a contact sports injury. In some cases of whiplash, the head may move sideways or backward initially, not only forwards.

If you or someone you love has recently suffered whiplash, you're not alone. However, it is imperative you seek prompt whiplash treatment for your injuries. Don't believe us? Check out these recent whiplash statistics.

Whiplash Injury Facts & Stats

  1. Symptoms of whiplash can often appear weeks or months after an accident.
  2. Whiplash injuries are actually categorized by grade, depending on the severity of the injury.
    - Grade 0: No physical signs of injury or patient complaints.
    - Grade 1: No physical signs, but neck pain.
    - Grade 2: Patient experiencing neck pain & signs of a musculoskeletal injury.
    - Grade 3: Patient experiencing neck pain & signs of neurological impairment.
  3. Of 586 employed patients with a whiplash injury, 7% did not return to work.
  4. The mean time off work after a whiplash injury was 39 days, or almost 8 work weeks.
  5. A whiplash injury can increase your chances of chronic shoulder and neck pain, as well as developing an abnormal psychological profile.

How Common is Whiplash?

  1. More than 3 million new cases of whiplash occur each year.
  2. More than 50% of those progress to some degree of chronic symptoms.
  3. Whiplash injuries occur 5 times more often in women than men.
  4. Whiplash injuries occur more often in people 30 to 50 years of age.
  5. Pre-existing health conditions such as arthritis will lead to a greater severity of injury and greater pain. Whiplash injuries are more severe in women and children because their necks are smaller.

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

  1. It takes 17 weeks to stabilize the neck after a severe whiplash injury.
  2. In 75% of patients, symptoms of whiplash can last 6 months or longer.
  3. 45% of patients remain symptomatic 12 weeks after injury, and 25% remained symptomatic 6-months post-injury.
  4. 22% of patients fail to return to “normal” condition between 1 and 2 years post-injury.
  5. One in 50 people injured in a whiplash-like accident suffer chronic pain severe enough to need diagnostic testing, medications, and other whiplash care on an ongoing basis, even 8 years after the accident occurred.
  6. One in 100 people around the world suffer from ongoing chronic neck pain due to whiplash injuries sustained in auto accidents.
  7. More than 60% of people who have whiplash injuries require long-term medical follow-up.
  8. More than 50% of those who have whiplash injuries will still have chronic pain 20 years after the injury.

Whiplash and Auto Accidents

  1. Whiplash injury can occur at 5 MPH, but most injuries actually occur at speed below 12 MPH.
  2. A read-end collision generally causes more damage to the cervical spine than side or frontal collisions do.
  3. In an auto accident, whiplash injuries are exacerbated when the headrest is too far away. Headrests should be adjusted to be 2 inches from the head, but 98% are too set too far way.
  4. Whiplash injuries account for more than 65% of all bodily injury claims.

The Importance of Prompt Treatment

Prompt and proper treatment of whiplash injuries can help reduce the chances of incurring chronic pain from the incident. Common chiropractic treatments include:

  • Chiropractic manipulation or adjustment
  • Various exercises, such as McKenzie exercises or stabilization and sensorimotor exercises
  • Ergonomic/lifestyle changes
  • Muscle stimulation or relaxation

Since each whiplash case is unique, the chiropractic treatment will vary depending on the dysfunctions discovered during the chiropractic exam. At ChiroCare of Florida, we develop treatment plans that address each specific problem. Your plan may include one or more of the approaches mentioned above, as well as other approaches deemed necessary.

Contact us online or call 877-388-2165 to schedule an appointment with an experienced chiropractor at ChiroCare of Florida.

22 Whiplash Statistics You Should Know
About the Author:
ChiroCare of Florida
ChiroCare of Florida provides chiropractic therapy for all ages. Your entire family will receive customized care from experienced chiropractors using techniques that are comfortable for you at all stages of the healing process.
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