COVID-19 UPDATE: Regenexx is committed to the health and safety of our patients. You may now be seen in clinic or via telemedicine for virtual/online or phone visits.
Our physicians are available via telemedicine to continue to give you the care you need during this difficult time. Learn more.

Want to Avoid Neck Injury? Use a Loud Tone!

By /
avoid neck injury

Most physicians haven’t caught up to the ground breaking research of the late 90s to the early 2000s showing that neck injury in a car crash (whiplash) is often caused by injuries to the small joints known as facets. These little joints can become damaged as a weird “S-shaped” curve is forced on the neck by the seat back pushing the torso forward in a rear end collision. Now new research suggests that the way to avoid these injuries may not be by designing fancy seats, but instead installing a scary loud tone in the car.

Believe it or not, there are small joints in your neck about the size of your finger joints. They help control motion and act as an important parts of how your neck turns, flexes, extends, and bends. They also can get arthritis or get injured in a car crash, leading to everything from chronic neck pain to symptoms like headaches, upper back and arm pain.

We’ve known how these little neck joints get injured since 1999, so for about 15 years. Despite the research, many physicians don’t understand this injury mechanism, so the diagnosis often gets overlooked. While many physicians have been missing the boat, the average automotive engineer designing car seats and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety “get it”, as seats this past decade have been designed to be safer and safer and reduce the risk of a neck injury. The first on the market was the Volvo WHIPS seat that had a breakaway c-clamp in the seat back that allowed it to “give” in a car crash, reducing that forward force on the torso that could cause the neck joints to get injured.

One of the engineers who’ve I’ve met that’s been leading the charge to understand how to prevent serious neck injuries is Gunter Siegmund. His new research seems to suggest that you can prevent serious neck injures by scaring someone just before the crash.The new study took subjects and exposed them to a simulated rear end crash while specialized electrodes were placed in their neck muscles to measure contractions during the crash. Half were exposed to a loud tone 1/4 second before the crash to cause their neck to tense. Sure enough, the subjects who got the loud tone had lower forces on the head and neck. Importantly, the authors thought that this pre-crash tone looked promising to help patients protect their facet joints.

The upshot? Perhaps installing a shrieking teenager in your car who can warn of impending collisions is all we need to avoid neck injury! In the meantime, this simple solution may just find it’s way into a Volvo sometime soon!

Get health and wellness information from a trusted source.

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

Is Regenexx Right For You?

Request a free Regenexx Info Packet


Learn about the #1 Stem Cell & Platelet Procedures for treating arthritis, common joint injuries & spine pain.

Join a Webinar


Get fresh updates and insights from Regenexx delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to the Blog


9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021


Copyright © Regenexx 2020. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.