I hear it weekly in my private practice – a patient presents with postural changes and the resulting degenerative changes at the disc and joints. Many of the patients are shocked to see these changes on their radiograph and on further history, they reveal they had a “minor accident. Many times, they go on to state they thought the stiffness, soreness and or pain would just go away.
What these patients did not recognize was the subtle changes in their motion and flexibility – which eventually lead to the degenerative and compensatory changes.
There's a common misconception that you can't be injured during a "minor" crash. We hear it all the time. The truth is that you absolutely can be hurt in a low-speed crash.
Extensive research was done by scientists on the nature of rear-end crashes and they found that there was no correlation between the speed of a crash and chance that the occupant would be injured in that crash. The video below shows just how violent a car crash can be.
This video only tells part of the story - it does not tell us that the occupant was aware and braced for impact and was seated in most ideal and protective positions and prepared for impact – how often does this happen in actual crashes? All these factors can increase the severity of the injury(s) and complicate recovery.
There may have been minimal to no damage to the vehicle!