Kinematic and electromyographic response to whiplash-type impacts. Effects of head rotation and trunk flexion: Summary of research

  • Kumar S
  • Ferrari R
  • Narayan Y
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Despite the fact that whiplash patients often report they had their head rotated or were in a twisted posture at the time of impact, the effect of these postures on the cervical muscle response to impact remains uninvestigated in impact studies. Prior impact studies have positioned the volunteers in the recommended driving position, for example, with head and trunk in a neutral posture. Using an approach of sled impacts with volunteers in very-low velocity impacts to describe the head kinematics and cervical muscle electromyography in response has provided a wealth of data. From this approach, the effect of varying impact direction and level of impact awareness can be discerned without subjecting the volunteers to injury. In part 1 of this review, a further series of results of impacts from eight directions is presented, revealing that the cervical electromyography response to whiplash-type impacts varies according to the presence and direction of head rotation. In part 2, additional data is summarised concerning whiplash-type impacts from 8 directions in the presence of trunk flexion. Contrary to a popular notion, head rotation or trunk flexion at the time of impact are factors that probably reduce injury risk. This data adds to attempts to approach an understanding of the human response to more complex scenarios of low-velocity road collisions. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cervical muscles
  • Electromyography
  • Head rotation
  • Impacts
  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Trunk flexion
  • Whiplash injury

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  • Shrawan Kumar

  • Robert Ferrari

  • Yogesh Narayan

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