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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Whiplash Injury Anatomy

Whiplash anatomy injury is the sudden extension of the cervical spine (backward movement of the neck) and flexion (forward movement of the neck). This trauma is also called cervical acceleration-deceleration injury. Rear-end or side-impact motor vehicle collisions are the number one cause of whiplash with injury to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and discs of the cervical spine.

The 24 vertebrae are stacked on top of one another to form the spinal column. The cervical spine is formed by the first seven vertebrae referred to as C1 to C7. The cervical spine starts where the top vertebra (C1) connects to the bottom edge of the skull. The cervical spine curves slightly inward and ends where C7 joins the top of the thoracic spine where the chest begins.

When the vertebrae are stacked on top of each other, back of the vertebral body forms a hollow tube. Inside the bony tube runs the spinal cord up and down the spine protecting the spinal cord.

As the spinal cord travels from the brain down through the spine, it sends out nerve branches called roots through a space between each vertebrae called the neural foramina. The nerve roots of the cervical spine control the arms and hands. Two spinal nerves exit the sides of each spinal segment, one on the left and one on the right.

Each spinal segment includes two vertebrae separated by an intervertebral disc, the nerves that leave the spinal cord at that level, and the small facet joints, the place where the back of the vertebrae touch each other.

An intervertebral disc works as a jelly donut-like shock absorber between the vertebrae. It protects the spine against the pull of gravity and activities, such as jumping, running, and lifting.

An intervertebral disc is made up of two parts. The center, called the nucleus, is spongy. It provides most of the ability to absorb shock. The nucleus is held in place by the annulus, a series of strong ligament rings surrounding it.

The surfaces of the facet joints are covered by articular cartilage. Articular cartilage is a smooth, rubbery material that covers the ends of most joints. It allows the bone ends to move against each other smoothly, without pain. The alignment of the facet joints of the cervical spine allows freedom of movement as one bends and turns the neck.

Whether workers compensation or automobile accident, McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee Wisconsin get the best results in whiplash injury anatomy accidents when there is evidence of a crash, accident unawares, turned head and medical documentation.  Medical records are viewed as the most honest and trustworthy evidence in claims for lost wages, pain and suffering and medical bills.

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