Gender differences in whiplash injuries

Study Title:

Gender dependent cervical spine segmental kinematics during whiplash.

Study Abstract:


Clinical and epidemiological studies have frequently reported that female occupants sustain whiplash injuries more often than males. The current study was based on the hypothesis that segmental level-by-level cervical intervertebral motions in females are greater than in males during rear impact. The hypothesis was tested by subjecting 10 intact human cadaver head-neck complexes (five males, five females) to rear impact loading. Intervertebral kinematics were analyzed as a function of spinal level at the time of maximum cervical S-curve, which occurred during the loading phase. Segmental angles were significantly greater (p<0.05) in female specimens at C2-C3, C4-C5, C5-C6, and C6-C7 levels. Because greater angulations are associated with stretch in the innervated components of the cervical spinal column, these findings may offer a biomechanical explanation for the higher incidence of whiplash-related complaints in female patients secondary to rear impact acceleration.

  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Study Information:

Stemper BD1, Yoganandan N, Pintar FA. Gender dependent cervical spine segmental kinematics during whiplash. J Biomech. 2003 Sep 2003 September 36(9):1281-9.

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