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Topic – Auto Injuries – Whiplash and What Happens in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Auto Injuries - Whiplash and What Happens in a Motor Vehicle Accident - Podcast with Dr. Errichiello-2 from razorcast™ on Vimeo.

Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Michael Errichiello’s monthly podcast interview. You can click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!

Podcast Interview:

RC: Hello, everyone. This is Liz Harvey, coming to you from our studios in New York City, where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the US. In today's episode, we are speaking with chiropractor Dr. Michael Errichiello of Health One Center located in Ridgefield, New Jersey. Dr. Errichiello graduated from St. John's University with a degree in biology and received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College. Dr. Errichiello is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors.

Today we're going to talk about a very important topic. Auto injuries: Whiplash and what happens in a motor vehicle accident.

Hello, Dr. Errichiello, how are you today?

Dr. Michael Errichiello: I'm very well. I'm glad to hear from you.

RC: Thanks for joining me.

What are the most common injuries sustained during an auto accident?

Dr. Michael Errichiello: Usually the most common injuries that people have as a result of a motor vehicle accident are neck pain, headaches, dizziness, back pain, muscle soreness, and numbness and tingling.

RC: What is whiplash and what parts of the body are affected by whiplash?

Dr. Michael Errichiello: Whiplash is also known as cervical acceleration/deceleration syndrome, and it usually affects the neck and it has four phases. The initial phase, that's the seat impacts the body and the head moves upward vertically, and an abnormal shearing effect is developed on the cervical spine or neck. Then there is compression of the spine and neck. In phase two, the neck hyperextends backwards and strikes the seat, causing injury to the tissues on the front of the neck. Phase three occurs when the person rebounds forward from the seat and your head accelerates forward. What happens is your brain is literally bounced forward on the back of your skull. As your head jolts forward and extreme forces are placed on your neck, the nerves and muscles are irritated. In phase four, the seatbelt restraints restrains your body. The head continues forward, forcing hyperflexion, which injures the tissue on the back of the neck. Most experts agree that this is the most damaging phase of whiplash. On our website,, we have a short video which shows you the actual mechanism of whiplash.

RC: What symptoms do people experience if they have whiplash?

Dr. Michael Errichiello: As I just described, there may be multiple symptoms related to whiplash injuries. Most commonly, people with headaches, neck pain, muscle soreness, possible concussion type symptoms of dizziness, loss of consciousness, possibly during the accident. Back pain is very common because of the lap belt around their waist, which restrains the lumbar spine. You can also develop numbness and tingling in your arms or legs as a result of the spinal nerves being compressed during the accident. Depending on the type of impact for the motor vehicle accident, most often neck symptoms develop. Because the head and neck are not restrained, it is your body that is restrained, and the head is free to snap forward and back, as I previously described.

RC: If whiplash is left untreated, can it affect other parts of the body?

Dr. Michael Errichiello: Yes, of course. You can develop premature arthritic changes in multiples areas of your spine as a result of a motor vehicle accident and whiplash. The reason is that your spinal ligaments have been severely stretched during the accident. Therefore, these ligaments that hold your spine now lose their normal integrity and will develop ligament laxity, which causes our joints to move abnormally and create premature arthritic changes to develop. This can lead to a myriad of symptoms later on in life.

RC: Why should people get checked by a chiropractor, even if they don't think they are hurt?

Dr. Michael Errichiello: The sad part about a motor vehicle accident is the fact that people do not understand the dynamics of an accident. When car bumpers have the ability to absorb 5 to 15 miles per hour of impact, one bumper to another, we do not realize that the impact must be transferred somewhere, and that somewhere is the person in the car.

Over the years, I've noticed that the people who are injured more severely in a motor vehicle accident and show immediate symptoms usually respond better because they seek immediate treatment. Those people involved in minor fender benders don't think they're injured, but only a trained chiropractor can examine you and assess the overall impact of the accident on your body.

My partner, Dr. Zalite, and myself have had extensive graduate training on documenting and reporting trauma, MRI spinal interpretation, neurodiagonistic, imaging protocols, pathology of the trauma patient, crash dynamics and its relationship to the injury, primary care spine, and much more, which helps us properly diagnose your injuries and developing the proper treatment plan to maximize your recovery.

RC: Thank you so much, Dr. Errichiello. We know you're extremely busy, so I just want to thank you for your time and help today.

Dr. Michael Errichiello: I appreciate the phone call.

RC: For our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with the doctor, please visit, or call 201-945-2320 to schedule an appointment. On behalf of our team, we want to thank you for listening, and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country's leading experts.

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