The collision of automobiles generally results in either acute flexion or severe hyperextension of the passenger's neck, depending on the direction of the impact. Direct trauma results to the spinal accessory nerve and to the roots of the cervical nerves, but in addition there are vasomotor disturbances resulting indirectly from damage to the vertebral arteries and to nerve fibers that accompany these arteries in their course through the foramina transversaria. The result is a varied syndrome of neurological and neurovascular troubles. Treatment with tranquilizers and psychotherapy is of no avail, and patients become discouraged and resentful. The procedure here outlined includes heat, manipulation, and traction. Carefully adapted to the individual case, this plan generally obviates the danger of surgical and psychiatric complications and often leads to prompt rehabilitation of the patient.
Seletz E. WHIPLASH INJURIES: NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL BASIS FOR PAIN AND METHODS USED FOR REHABILITATION. JAMA. 1958;168(13):1750–1755. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000130016005
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