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The difficulties in diagnosing whiplash injuries


The latest data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that four million rear-end collisions occurred in 2016, resulting in three million whiplash injuries. Medical costs were at around $8 billion. As automatic rear braking has become more common in vehicles, these types of accident claims have reduced significantly.

Out of all the injuries that can occur in a motor vehicle accident, whiplash is one of the most common outcomes. Yet, this well-known injury still finds medical professionals challenged in diagnosing and treating the physical damage done to the neck due to the lack of an accepted concept on the cause of whiplash symptoms.

Technological improvements paint a better picture

Verifying whiplash once lacked objective measurements. Thanks to Harvard Medical School’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, more sophisticated scanning technology provides a more detailed picture of the injury down to a molecular level.

The breakthrough could make a significant difference in scans that provides a more detailed picture of the whiplash injury, helping doctors provide more effective treatment options for accident victims.

Conventional CT neck scans lacked what the study referred to as “pathological findings.” Updated scanning actually shows increased D-deprenyl in the neck region, signifying that a whiplash injury has occurred. Follow-up scans after six months revealed a reduction of D-deprenyl, meaning that a patient was recovering.

As with any whiplash injury, range of motion remains a factor as well as pain.

Regardless of the severity of an injury following a motor vehicle collision, negligent drivers must still be held accountable when their actions result in the pain and suffering of an accident victim. While handling these cases without an attorney may speed up the process, it can also deny compensation for current and future pain and suffering.