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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Sep 15;31(20):E733-8.

Stabilizing effect of precontracted neck musculature in whiplash.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. stemps@mcw.edu

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

This study investigated the effect of neck muscle precontraction in aware occupants in whiplash. Head angulation relative to T1 and facet joint capsular ligament distractions were compared between aware and unaware occupants.

OBJECTIVE:

To quantify changes in facet joint capsular ligament distractions between aware occupants with precontracted neck muscles and unaware occupants with reflex muscle contraction.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

Clinical studies have reported that patients aware of the impending impact had decreased symptom intensity and faster recovery after whiplash. To date, no study has investigated the effects of precontracted neck musculature on localized spinal soft tissue distortions in whiplash.

METHODS:

Aware occupants with precontracted neck muscles and unaware occupants with reflex muscle contraction in whiplash were simulated using a validated computational model. Muscle contraction attained maximum levels before impact in the aware occupant and implemented reflex delay, electromechanical delay, and finite muscle rise time in the unaware occupant.

RESULTS:

Precontraction of neck muscles in aware occupants resulted in 63% decreased maximum head angles, elimination of cervical S-curvature, and up to 75% decrease in maximum facet joint capsular ligament distractions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Occupants aware of an impending whiplash impact with precontracted neck muscles can markedly reduce overall head-neck and spinal motions. It is our theory that this would reduce whiplash injury likelihood.

PMID:
16985440
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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