The present study implemented the MADYMO 50th percentile male head-neck model to investigate effects of initial spinal posture on cervical spine kinematics in whiplash. The model was altered to three initial postures: lordosis, straight, kyphosis. The three models were exercised under 2.6 m/sec rear impact pulses. Segmental kinematics and ligament strains were investigated during cervical S-curvature and throughout the whiplash event. Anterior longitudinal ligament strains during S-curvature varied from 20 to 47% of maximum strains. Facet joint strains during S-curvature were 42 to 100% of maximum strains. This finding indicates that facet joint ligaments are more susceptible to whiplash injury during S-curvature, while anterior longitudinal ligament injury likely occurs during the extension phase. Kyphosis and straight postures increased anterior longitudinal ligament strains in the upper cervical spine from the lordosis posture. Lower cervical facet joint and anterior longitudinal ligament strains were greater in the lordosis posture. This study shows that spinal posture may affect injury mechanisms and render a specific population more susceptible to whiplash injury.

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