Add On HeadRest
Whiplash Protection - Comfort & Support
|The Add On HeadRest can reduce forces of whiplash neck injury|
The development of chronic pain and disability following whiplash neck injury is common and substaintially contributes to personal suffering as well as economic costs. Evidence demonstrates sensory and function problems along with psychological stress with whiplash injury regardless of recovery.
For individuals that progress to a chronic state of injury (12 weeks and more) there is an associated widespread hypersensitivity to pain and significant post-traumatic stress reactions.
Whiplash neck injury is the most common injury following motor vehicle crashes. Most will recover within 2-3 weeks, however, a significant portion of those with whiplash injury (up to 42%) will transition to a chronic pain stage where treatment is difficult and the burden to society is great.
Those who fail to recover quickly from whiplash often suffer from a host of symptoms including pain, dizziness, visual and hearing disturbances, tmj/jaw problems, fatigue, concentration and memory loss, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances. These symptoms, among others, make chronic whiplash a very difficult and costly musculoskeletal condition to treat.
According to the US Department of Transportation; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). May 2002. 1-94, claims for personal injury after whiplash is a staggering $230 Billion dollars per annum. For all involved (the injured, family members, health care providers, medical-legal system and third-part payors) acute and chronic whiplash injuries result in a huge economic, personal and emotional burden.
Whiplash causes a rapid hyperextension of the cervical spine in which the head is thrown back creating large angular displacements. Crash tests for the Add On HeadRest have shown a significant decrease in this damaging motion. The extension phase builds energy in the elastic components of the neck and is followed by an abrupt release of energy and forward thrust of the head and neck. The consequences of this whiplash injury can impact and injure any number of structures in the neck including intervertebral discs, facet joints and joint capsules, ligaments, muscles and nerves.
According to Traffic Injury Prevention. 2008 Dec;9(6):552-560, "A high and forward Head Restraint provides support of the head and neck. Large forces can be applied to the occupant once the head, neck, and torso are supported by the seat and Head Restraint without adverse loading of the spine. The addition of an active Head Restraint closes the gap behind the head before significant load develops on the neck. The movement provides a more upward trajectory of the head restraint. Low-speed rear crashes are not just a matter of whiplash; older occupants, some with cervical stenosis, are at risk for paralyzing spinal cord injury." The Add On HeadRest provides the benefits of an active Head Restraint which are being developed for new model cars.
A study in Spine. 2009 Feb;34(3):262-267, indicates; "Distortion or strain of the neck due to sudden movement of the head, is a prevalent injury after a motor vehicle accident. Following the original specific injury mechanism during a classic rear-end collision, accompanied by acceleration-deceleration and the whip-like movement of the head, this became known as whiplash." "Persistent neck complaints, sometimes accompanied by cognitive complaints, are known as postwhiplash syndrome or whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). The persistent complaints have become a major medical problem, and source of a large body of research and polemic discussions." The article confirms "...our results clearly sustain the view that prolonged work disability is most pronounced in higher age groups." "Our results show that work disability due to postwhiplash syndrome after a motor vehicle accident is a common problem. A total of 58.8% of the studied population with neck complaints was work-disabled after the accident." A key point in the whiplash study was "Age and concentration complaints are important independent predictors of long-lasting work disability."
According to Pain Journal. 2006 May;103(1-2):65-73, high pain and disability levels with physical and psychological factors, including early presence of neck motion loss, cold hypersensitivity and post-traumatic stress sypmtoms are strong predictors of poor outcome for whiplash at 2-3 years after the accident.
How to adjust your head restraint properly to prevent whiplash:
Step 1: Adjusting the Height of Your Car Seat Head Restraint: A low car seat Head Restraint can cause injury as the head pivots over the top in a rear end collision as illustrated at the top of this page. The first step is to obtain the correct height. Adjust the head restraint up or down until the center of the head restraint at least meets the center of the back of your head or higher.
Step 2: Check for Forward Head: Every inch your head sits forward of the restraint magnifies the force of injury to your neck. In one recent crash test performed by the Center for Research into Automotive Safety and Health, having the head forward by two inches significantly magnifies the force on the head.
The the distance between your head and the head restraint is called the backset and should not be more than 4 finger widths. If you canít get your head that close, then consider the Add On HeadRest for proper comfort and protection.
If a head restraint isn't behind and close to the back of your head, it can't prevent a whiplash injury in a rear-end collision. Institute researchers regularly evaluate the geometry of Head Restraints in passenger vehicles based on the height and backset. A restraint should be at least as high as the head's center of gravity, or about 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) below the top of the head. The backset (distance behind the head) should be as small as possible. Backsets of more than 10 centimeters (about 4 inches) have been associated with increased symptoms of neck injury in crashes. For more see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Review
Unfortunately, most head restraints are not adequate for protection. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "Only 5 passenger vehicles out of 200+ evaluated have good Head Restraint designs and more than 70 percent are poor." To see how your vehicle rates, visit the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety crash test results and scroll down to Rear crash protection/Head Restraint ratings.
The Add On HeadRest encourages the occupant to raise adjustable Head Restraints to the desired height and reduce the backset for maximum whiplash protection.
The idea behind the Add On HeadRest is to help prevent whiplash. Unfortunately, if you already have a whiplash injury, the Add On HeadRest can provide comfort and an extra measure of safety should you sustain another accident. It should be noted that many doctors have a patient with whiplash injury wear a collar when driving. This does not help prevent additional damage in the event of another whiplash injury.
Independent testing by Texas A+M's accident reconstruction program identified remarkable results using the Add On HeadRest in low impact, rear end crash tests. In comparative tests, using human volunteers and multitudes of scientific equipment, a 73 percent decrease of head angular acceleration and a 38 percent reduction of the resultant linear head acceleration were documented when using the Add On HeadRest.