Academy of Chiropractic
 Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Trauma Series #24

Whiplash & Disc Herniation Statistics

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According to Panjabi, Ito, Pearson, & Ivancic (2004):

  1. 25% of whiplash victims get herniated discs
  2. 20% of whiplash victims have herniated discs with radicular symptoms
  3. 39% of whiplash victims have degeneration 5-10 years post trauma
  4. 2 times the number of whiplash patients required discectomy and fusion as compared to the control group
  5. Whiplash patients require fusion 8 years earlier, on the average, than non-whiplash patients

According to Barth, Freeman, Broshek, & Varney (2001), in acceleration-deceleration accidents (whiplash), where significant spinal injuries were reported:

  1. 72% revealed single or multilevel cervical disc herniations
  2. 23% revealed lumbar or thoraco-lumber disc herniations
  3. 18% revealed spinal fractures





  1. Panjabi, M. M., Ito, S., Pearson, A. M., & Ivancic, P. C. (2004). Injury mechanisms of the cervical intervertebral disc during simulated whiplash. Spine, 29(11), 1217-1225.
  2. Barth, J. T., Freeman, J. R., Broshek, D. K., & Varney, R. N. (2001). Acceleration-deceleration sport-related concussion: The gravity of it all. Journal of Athletic Training, 36(3), 253-256.