In one study, x-rays taken an average of 7 years after whiplash injury showed neck disc arthritis was present in 39% of the patients. The control group only showed a neck disc arthritis incidence of 6%. The authors concluded “Thus, it appeared that the injury had started the slow process of disc degeneration.” (The Cervical Spine Research Society, 1989)
In another study of patients with whiplash injuries but with preexisting degenerative arthritis of their neck, x-ray evidence of new degenerative changes at another level in their neck occurred in 55%. (The Cervical Spine Research Society, 1989)
A single whiplash injury can increase the incidence of neck spinal arthritis by 10 years compared to people who have not been in a whiplash accident. (The Journal of Orthopedic Medicine, 1997)
The repetitive bouncing of soccer balls off one’s head accelerates the development of neck spine arthritis by 10-20 years. (European Spine Journal, 2004)
Neck spine arthritis before whiplash injury significantly worsens the effects of the injury, slowing recovery and increasing the chances of suffering from permanent pain. (British Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1983, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 1987, Orthopedic Clinics of North America, 1988, Spine, 1994, British Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 1996)
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