ABOUT BRAIN AND NECK WHIPLASH INJURIES: Signs and Symptoms
The idea of “whiplash injuries to the neck and back” is well understood by most people. The notion of “whiplash injury of the brain” is not as well understood.
A whiplash injury to the neck and back is the result of sudden acceleration-deceleration forces that cause the head and neck to “whip” back and forth violently. A rear-end collision at only 8 miles per hour can a 5 g force acceleration on the victim’s head, within a 250-300 msec after impact.
Picture a bull whip being “cracked” at its end. The snap at the handle is magnified by more than 30 times at the end of the whip, causing a mini-sonic boom.
The human head is at the end of the “whip crack” in a whiplash injury. No wonder whiplash injuries of the neck are often accompanied by whiplash injuries of the head. The “coup”/”contracoup” injury to the brain occurs when the brain is violently slammed into the hard surface of the brain, back and forth in the acceleration deceleration movement.
The result is a concussion or mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Often the so-called “mild” traumatic brain injury results in serious long-term disability.