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Neck Pain Now Equals Neck Pain Later

I read an interesting article in the European Spine Journal titled “The association between a lifetime history of a neck injury in a motor vehicle collision and future neck pain: a population-based cohort study.”

Yes, that’s a big title. But the study looked at an incredibly simple issue: are neck injuries in car accidents a harbinger of neck pain later in life after the injury has resolved. So the study looked at the association between a lifetime history of neck injury from a motor vehicle collision and the development of troublesome neck pain.

The answer was what plaintiffs’ car accident lawyers were sure to tell you would be the case: patients with a history of neck injury in a traffic collision are more likely to experience future neck pain.

This is a good study. It took 919 randomly sampled Saskatchewan adults with no or mild neck pain in September 1995. At baseline, participants were asked if they ever injured their neck in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident. Six months and a year later, they looked into whether the patient had meaningful neck pain on a chronic pain grade questionnaire.

The researchers found a positive association between a history of neck injury in car crashes and the onset of neck pain. The conclusion is that patients with a history of neck injury in car accidents are at greater risk for developing neck pain in the future.

This is a study worth sending to your experts in some cases to strengthen permanency opinions.