ICBC Personal Injury Claims: Treatment related to Motor Vehicle Accidents causing Whiplash and Soft Tissue Injuries

Vancouver Chiropractor for WhiplashA whiplash injury happens within a blink of an eye. If you've been in an automobile accident. Read the following!

Neck injuries are frequently seen following low velocity rear-end crashes and there is general agreement among clinicians that significant injury or disability, or both, can occur in these low damage claims.

A stationary object will never move unless something else acts upon it to make it move. Likewise, an object that is already moving will continue to move until something makes it stop. Inertia is the primary reason why people get hurt in low speed impacts.

The human body is a vertical structure and is designed to absorb the force of gravity in daily life. Because of its design it can handle moderate amounts of axial compression without difficulty. Horizontal acceleration however is not handled as well by the body and results in what is known as shear forces. Even moderate shear forces can result in injury because the neck allows a great deal of motion.

Muscular strain my also occur as the muscles tighten during the early part of the collision as the head extends backward. Interesting enough it is this neck muscle reflex designed ultimately to protect the body that actually may result in greater risk of injury as the muscular tightening creates significant damaging compressive force to the facet joints.

Studies showed that during low speed crashes rapid pressure changes in spinal canal can create a great deal of strain of the spinal nerve roots which in turn can result in pain symptoms after a low speed collision.

There is a common belief that occupant injury correlates to the amount of damage to the vehicle in all types of crashes and many people find it impossible to believe that a person can be injured in a collision in which a vehicle has no visible damage. The literature on this issue is quite clear and states that there is absolutely no correlation between the amount of damage to the car and the chance of injury.

In fact, a vehicle with less damage may result in higher forces experienced by the driver compared with a vehicle with extensive damage. A stiffer vehicle will bounce in response to a crash rather than absorb the energy of an impact. In short, vehicles with stiff rear-end structures and/or seatbacks produce greater torso accelerations, making it harder to keep a motorist's head and torso moving together. It has been shown that it is the rapid acceleration of the head in relation to the torso that results in whiplash.

Even if you haven't suffered a cut, broken bone or a head injury...SOFT TISSUE INJURIES can manifest WELL AFTER your collision. Sometimes as long as a few weeks after!

COMMON SYMPTOMS of soft tissue injuries seen daily in our office:

  • Neck pain, headaches, sore muscles in the neck and upper back
  • Confusion, dizziness, nausea, visual and auditory disturbances, vertigo/balance issues
  • Numbness/tingling in the arm/wrist/hands/fingers
  • Mid/low back pain
  • Shoulder, knee, elbow, wrists, and jaw pain (TMJ)

Chiropractic Treatment of Whiplash

There has been a rising body of medical research supporting chiropractic intervention in whiplash. In 1996, Hurwitz published in Spine that there was, "Better evidence for treatment of chronic neck pain by spinal manipulative therapy than for any other treatment" (1). The same year, Aker published additional research in the British Medical Journal supporting Hurwitz's conclusion (2). In 1997, Khan et al published in the British Journal of Orthopedic Medicine that, "Chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment of chronic neck pain" when comparing medical, physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments (3). In 1999, Giles published research in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics confirming the effectiveness of spinal manipulation over NSAIDS or acupuncture for the treatment of neck pain (4).

The muscular and ligament injuries that occur in these collisions can result in pain and loss of function. At Aquarius Chiropractic we will objectively determine your collision outcome and help to accurately diagnose your area injury. Once we determine the exact cause of your injury we will formulate a treatment plan to help get you back on track.


1. Hurwitz EL, Aker PD, Adams AH, Meeker WC, Shekelle PG. Manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine: a systematic review of the literature. Spine 21:1746-60, 1996.

2. Aker PD, Gross AR, et al. Conservative management of mechanical neck pain: Systematic Overview and Meta-analysis. Br Med J 313:1291-96, 1996.

3. Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M, Bannister G: A symptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment. J of Ortho Med 21 (1), 1999.

4. Giles L, Muller R: Chronic spinal pain syndromes. JMPT Vol. 22, No. 6, July-August 1999: 376-381.

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#210-179 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC

Phone: 604.605.5800

Hours of Operation:

9:00 am - 6:30 pm Monday-Friday

Open every 1st Saturday morning of the month (except holidays) by appointment