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Crashed Car

Auto Injury Rehabilitation

"45% of the American population with chronic neck pain attributes it to a MVC (motor vehicle collision)"

     -Freeman MD, Croft AC, Rossignol AM, Centerno CJ, Elkins WL: Chronic neck pain and whiplash: A case-control study of the relationship between acute whiplash injuries and chronic neck pain. Pain Res Manag 11(2):79-83, 2006

Did you know, all automobile accident victims in Florida have up to $10,000 in benefits for medical care and rehabilitation after an auto accident that's covered by your insurance? Call us today to schedule.


Auto Accident Injury Rehabilitation


Did you know that approximately 50% of motor vehicle crash (MVC) victims almost never fully recover? Here at Pensacola Spinal Centers, we do out best to prescribe and administer the most appropriate and customized treatments to give you and your body the best chance to fully heal. From the initial examination with digital x-rays, to full spinal rehabilitation, we are here for you and your family. 

We also work with other professionals like nurse practitioners, pain management physicians, and neurosurgeons to make sure you're covered, no matter how severe the injury. 


Have an attorney? No problem. We work with dozens of attorneys from around the area and across the country to make sure you get the care you need.  

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Dr. Burkhardt and Dr. Arthur Croft in San Diego after Dr. Croft's Advanced Whiplash and Traumatic Brain Injury conference. Dr. Croft is one of the leading motor vehicle collision researchers in the world! 

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Car accident whiplash injury

A car accident whiplash injury is one of the most common injuries after an accident. It usually occurs to a person after a direct impact to the backend of a struck vehicle. This impact causes the body of the victims to lift upward causing the head of the person to extend backwards into hyperextension. It then causes the head to violently whip forward at a high rate of speed into hyperflexion. This is where the term “whiplash” is derived from when describing this form of car accident trauma. Whiplash treatment may be necessary after suffering from a car crash, blows to the back in sports, or from on-the-job injuries.

While symptoms are often felt immediately, in some situations some may not feel pain for days, months, or, in rare cases, even years. In fact, many people wake up with neck pain without being aware of ever having a head or neck injury. The most common symptom of whiplash (affecting 62% to 92% of those injured) is neck pain. It usually begins between two hours and two days after the accident. This is often the result of tightened muscles caused by either muscle tears or excessive movement of joints from ligament damage. The muscles tighten in an effort to splint up and support the head, limiting the excessive movement. Muscle relaxants and pain killers can also relieve some of the discomfort of these muscle spasms, although these medications will only cover up symptoms, failing to address the cause of the problem.

Digital Stress X-Rays, why are they important? 

CRMA stands for Computerized Radiographic Mensuration Analysis. Many times this process is referred to as “digitized x-rays.”

This is a test that Analyzes the angles and distances between bones in the spine using a Computer and X-rays, which are a certain type of Radiograph. The purpose of the test is to accurately assess damage to the spine. 

Mensuration has been used by doctors for nearly 100 years to figure out when a patient’s spinal bones are misaligned. Mensuration compares a patient’s spine to a normal  spine.

CRMA is important to patients, doctors, and attorneys. For patients, it visually identifies the location of an injury. It also helps them understand common defenses to whiplash injuries are smokescreens invented by insurance companies. Finally for patients, it can explain the patterns of pain they experience

For doctors, CRMA assists with a “differential diagnosis,” which is the process doctors use to rule out other sources of pain. Insurance companies like to blame other sources as causes for pain, such as “somatoform disorder,” “secondary gain,” and other buzzwords that really mean someone is faking. CRMA objectively disproves faking. Since CRMA identifies the location and extent of injuries, it helps the doctor decide on a treatment plan targeted at the injured area. It is also helpful for tracking changes in a patient’s condition and for deciding when to make referrals to pain management specialists, neurologists, or surgeons. Many doctors take repeat x-rays every 3-5 years to monitor their patients’ conditions.

For attorneys, CRMA visually provides objective medical evidence of injury, which helps prove the patient’s injuries in court. In order to introduce scientific evidence in court, it must be reliable and scientifically sound. Because CRMA uses decades-old mensuration techniques approved by the American Medical Association, it is acceptable for this purpose.

The mensuration method most commonly used today comes from the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides). It is the gold standard for impairment evaluation. For instance, the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission requires use of the AMA Guides, and almost all other doctors recognize them as authoritative. The AMA Guides say the only objective way to assess permanent spinal injury is to look for “motion segment alteration,” which is “rare absent trauma,”

Until the last 20 years or so, doctors performed mensuration by hand using x-rays, a light box, and a grease pencil. In the last 20 years, more doctors and clinics started using x-ray machines to take x-rays digitally, rather than with static films (just like digital cameras have replaced film cameras).

CRMA has been tested by researchers, who have confirmed it is more accurate and repeatable than hand methods. For this reason, CRMA is generally accepted in evidence-based medicine as a reliable method of assessing spine damage. Most research articles published on the spine today use computerized mensuration tools.


Whiplash headaches

An estimated 66% to 70% of those suffering from whiplash complain of headaches. The pain may be on one side or both, on- again/-off again or constant, in one location or more diffuse. These headaches, like neck pain, are often the result of tightened, tensed muscles trying to keep the head stable and are often felt behind the eyes. While pain radiating down the neck into the shoulder blade area, also may be the result of tense muscles. Muscle tears and nerve pressure to nerves traveling to the upper extremities are often burning, prickling, or tingling pain.


Severe disc damage in the spine may cause sharp pain with certain movements which are relieved in certain positions. The pain and other symptoms from disc injuries placing pressure on the spinal nerves, may cause a “pinched nerve”. This then leads to inflammation, pain, and even impaired function. Pressure on these “pinched nerve” can cause your symptoms to travel away from the spine and upwards to the head. The nerves of the neck travel down the shoulders and extend into the arms, hands, and fingers. This why so many neck problems cause symptoms into the arms and hands. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may have a whiplash injury. And if left untreated, it may cause far more serious problems months or years later.

Accident injury chiropractic and physical therapy

Car accident whiplash injury chiropractors mostly perform traditional manual (“hands-on”) adjustments on patients. Although they may also perform “low force” adjustment techniques, which are performed with highly advanced instrument. These low force adjustments are usually performed after a whiplash injury due to the sensitivity of the neck. Some patients are familiar with these instrument adjustment techniques, which are the “activator”, “arthro-stim”, or “impulse adjusting”. Although these low-force adjustments are gentle and precise. Experience has shown us that instrument adjusting can be effective when used in combination with manual adjusting. In addition, instrument adjusting is an alternative to manual adjusting. Hence with a combination of other treatment options such as physical therapy and massage therapy. Your chiropractic doctor will be happy to discuss with you which adjusting techniques would be best for your condition.

At Pensacola Spinal Centers, we are also advanced certified in Whiplash and Traumatic Brain Injuries from the San Diego Spine Research Institute as well as certified in Chiropractic Biophysics, the structural rehabilitation of the spine. The cervical spine is naturally formed with a curve and that curve is to be maintained throughout a person's lifetime. Outside forces, like auto accidents, can damage vital muscles and ligaments that are involved in stabilizing and holding your neck in that curved position. This results in a straightened or reversed cervical curve. Research has shown that a loss of a cervical curve causes increased spinal cord tension, increased neck pain, increased prevalence of headaches, early spinal degeneration and an increased likelihood of neck pain in the future. A Pensacola Spinal Centers, we combine chiropractic adjustments with corrective exercises and traction to restore the cervical curve to it's ideal position. This gives your body the best chance for full and long term recovery. Call us for a complimentary consultation: 850-434-8880.

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The following are some quotes from published research articles regarding motor vehicle collisions:

In a LOSRIC study where they crashes were graded as having no damage, 38% of females and 19% of males had symptoms. When damage was rated as minor, these percentages were 54% and 34%.

     -Chapline JF, Ferguson SA, Lillis RP, Lund AK, Williams AF: Neck pain and head restraint position relative to the driver's head in rear-end collisions. Accident Analysis and Prevention 32:287-297, 2000. 


"Approximately 29% and 38% of individuals exposed to rear end impacts at 2.5 mph and 5 mph speed changes, respectively, experienced mild symptoms. These were relatively young and healthy volunteers seated in nearly ideal positions. Thus, the previously reported threshold for cervical soft tissue injury, which was set at 5 mph, appears too high. This is particularly true for persons in crashes where more risk factors are present."

     -Brault JR, Wheeler JB, Siegmund GP, Brault EJ: Clinical response of human subjects to rear-end automobile collisions. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 79:72-80, 1998


"the acceleration of the human head in LOSRIC (low speed rear impact collision) could be up to 2-3 times (or more) higher than his vehicle because of the unique and complex occupant-vehicle coupling of this type of crash"

     -Severy DM, Mathewson JH, Bechtol CO: Controlled automobile rear-end collisions, an investigation of related engineering and mechanical phenomenon. Can Services Med J 11:727-758, 1955.

     -Severy DM, Mathewson JH: Automobile barrier and rear-end collision performance, Paper presented at the Society of Automotive Engineers summer meting, Atlantic City, NJ, June 8-13, 1958.


"The reported threshold for soft tissue injury of the neck in healthy adult males is a (vehicle) delta V of 2.5 to 5 mph. (The threshold for more vulnerable persons may be lower.) Therefore, modern passenger vehicles can crash at velocities that are nearly twice this injury threshold, yet appear undamaged."

     -Hell W, Langwieder K, Walz F. Reported soft tissue neck injuries after rear-end car collisions. International IRCOBI Conference on the Biomechanics of Impact. September 16-18, 1998, Goteborg, Sweden, 261-274. 

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