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Chiropractic Physicians

Dr. Ken Boothe | Dr. Tim Shelton

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Car Accident Doctor in Ogden Explains Brain Injuries from Whiplash

Brain Injury from Car Accidents

Does a person get injured in a car accident when the car sustains no damage? Unfortunately the auto insurance industry, with shareholder interests in mind, would say of course not.  They would say that since the car is visibly intact your body could not have sustained any injury.   This is simply a generalization, but it is our experience that auto insurers try to avoid paying on a claim because there is no damage to the car. These types of cases are extremely difficult to fight, and sadly leaves many victims by the wayside to deal with the burden and suffering of permanent injuries.

It is estimated that over 300,000 people each year suffer from debilitating pain from auto accident injuries.  These injuries lead to disability and years of pain just because you are not able to get the appropriate care you need from your car crash. (1)

A study by Szabo and Welcher (2), examined the effects on the human frame with live test volunteers with a series of 10mph crashes. No structural damages occurred to the test vehicles, which were Volvos fitted with standard head rests. The car accidents were recorded with high speed cameras, and sensors recording acceleration of the cervical and lumbar spine were recorded.

Due to variances in size, weight, height, gender, build, they found that the cervical spine accelerated dramatically and experienced anywhere from 6.6 g – 17.2 g forces through the neck. The acceleration of the lumbar region ranged from 3.9 – 7.5 g forces. Other noteworthy data collected was the acceleration was produced before any muscle activity was produced, meaning the motion was completed before the muscles that protect our spine and spinal cord could react and guard the body from injury.

If you were aware that the accident was about to happen, you could have guarded and prepared for the impact, dramatically decreasing the extent of the injury.  Getting rear ended in a car accident without your knowledge of the impeding impact will create more damage. Your muscles are not prepared to hold your head in position, thus causing a “whipping” motion of your head.  This motion injures muscle, tendons and ligaments.  You may suffer headaches, jaw pain, shoulder and neck pain, all from an auto accident that doesn’t cause visible damage to your car.

Have you ever thought, “Why doesn’t someone that is drunk get hurt when they crash into someone?”  Obviously the drunk person is more relaxed and is not guarded, but why do they not sustain the same injuries?  It is known that guarding protects the body, and drunk drivers do fairly well in car accidents because they are the ones doing the hitting, not because they are drunk and relaxed.  The force of the accident is usually absorbed by the car being hit.

As a car accident doctor in Ogden, and having provided auto accident injury treatments for many years, we have seen people suffer unnecessarily with permanent injuries from whiplash type injuries that create brain injury. With the head having the potential to accelerate over 17 times the force of gravity, widespread permanent injuries can occur.

Astronauts in training often black out during high g-force training at 4-6 times the force of gravity.  Constant and sustained high G-forces for over a minute are deadly when the force is around 15 G-force. During a car accident, the G-force occurs within a split second, which is enough time to create a brain injury and damage the vital structures of your body.

Brain injuries can be severe, moderate or mild.  Mild injuries are not always evident and often escape detection by even the most trained professionals. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the annual number of brain injuries from auto accidents is near 7 million. This equates to 1 traumatic brain injury for every 40 citizens. This is why mild traumatic brain injuries are hard to discover and are noted as the silent epidemic.

Sadly, we have seen this in our chiropractic clinic. A person gets rear ended, minor to moderate damage occurs to the car, and the person has neck pain, headaches, and back pain. Careful observation from our car accident doctors in Ogden, Utah, whom are trained to deal with auto injuries, can spot mild traumatic brain injuries.

Brain injuries from car accidents are simple to understand. The brain is soft, and the skull is hard which makes the brain susceptible to damage. The brain basically sloshes around in the skull, which end up shearing axons, and thus creating damage.  Those injured may experience some loss of consciousness at the time of the accident, or may feel ‘foggy’ when they try to remember something.  No matter how extensive the brain injury, proper treatment needs to be obtained to avoid permanent damage and live long symptoms.

If you have been in an auto collision in Ogden, it is imperative for your well being to see a car accident doctor that has special training in detecting this silent epidemic.

Call us for a free consultation and find out how you can enjoy last relief from your car wreck.


Advanced Injury Rehabilitation
Dr. Tim Shelton
Dr. Ken Boothe
1920 W 250 N, #24
Ogden, UT 84404


1. Spine Research Institute of San Diego:

2. Szabo TJ, Welcher JB: Human subject kinematics and electromyographic activity during low speed rear impacts. SAE paper 962432, 295-315, 1996