Risk for Late (Chronic) Whiplash
The following risk factors (based on solid scientific research)
help explain why some patients involved in Low Speed Rear Impact
Collisions (LOSRIC) get injured and others do not. These risk factors
are associated with the potential to develop chronic pain after
a LOSRIC. Other issues to consider include, change of velocity,
G force, threshold of injury, vehicle mass, and examination findings.
Rear vector vs. other vectors
Body mass index in females only
Immediate/early onset of symptoms (i.e., within 12 hours)
and/or severe initial symptoms
Initial back pain
Greater subjective cognitive impairment
Greater number of initial symptoms
Use of seat belt shoulder harness. For neck (not back) pain;
non-use had a protective effect.
Initial physical findings of limited range of motion
Neck Pain on palpation
Initial neurological symptoms. Radiating pain to the upper
Past history of neck pain or headache.
Initial degenerative changes seen on radiographs
Loss or reversal of cervical lordosis
Increasing age (i.e., middle age and beyond)
Front seat position
Target vehicles manufactured from late 1988s through the
1990s (OR=2.7 vs in the early 1980s vehicles.
(Rear Impact Only)