Impact of Muscle Contraction Upon Head Stabilization during Forward Acceleration

The impact of muscle contraction upon head movements induced by a forward acceleration was studied as a model for low impact car accidents. The results of this study indicate that precontraction and anticipation of the impact lead to a faster and greater increase of general muscle tone. It also leads to a reduction of about 30-34% of head rotations and head angular velocities. The muscle contraction is most like a generalized alerting response. It should be noted that the current results were obtained at a loading level of 0.7 g, which is far below the 5-12g levels observed in rear-end collisions. Since the current shows only small influences of the muscle contraction, it is assumed that the contraction will not be strong enough to limit the larger head and truck motion at higher impacts. Whether or not a patient can anticipate the acceleration/deceleration, it is not a predictive factor for the quantity of complaints after a high-impact accident. The most decisive factor is the level of impact directly on the trunk and cervical region. Until now, no solid proof has been established for any risk factor for developing whiplash-associated disorders. Preliminary evidence suggests that head restraint/car seats, aimed at limiting head extension during rear-end collisions had a preventive effect on reporting whiplash-associated disorders. More evidence is needed, in particular predictive factors for complaints after the trauma.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Kingma, H
    • Patijn, J
    • de jong, I
    • Gosens, H W
    • Stevens, J
    • Dekker, A
    • Lansbergen, M
    • Horst, M v.d.
    • Wismans, J
    • van Mameren, H
  • Publication Date: 2009


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 101-114
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01144214
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 3 2009 2:37PM