The elderly are at increased risk for whiplash-related injuries. As we age, muscle size and strength decreases; soft tissues become less elastic; and the intervertebral discs hold less fluid and become more fragile. An older disc will not have the same ability as a younger disc to cushion nerves, vascular, bone and joint structures during any hyperextension, hyperflexion and compression.
In diagnosing a neck and back injury,
a number of risk factors must
Individuals with a history of neck injuries or degenerative changes in the spine are at greater risk.
Women are generally more susceptible to injuries, including traumatic brain injury, than men.
Although a head restraint can help to reduce the hyperextension of the head during the first phase of any rear-end collision, this will only be true if it is properly designed and positioned for the occupant. Furthermore, a head restraint will not prevent the hyperflexion phase of the injury.