Why Brains Injure
While the industrial age was the design of the human brain, the human body and especially the brain, were not designed for the industrial age. In antiquity, the greatest risk of injury came from predators and other human enemies. Our modern machines are today’s foes, subjecting our brains and bodies to forces they were not designed to withstand. While we have come to better understand the pathology of why brains injure in an accident, we are making slower progress in eliminating the injuries.
When bones are broken, it is usually the result of direct visible force against the bone. When cut or struck by something, the mechanism of injury, is also clear. But as a result of the speeds we travel and the size of our vehicles, our bodies can often be severely injured, without clear force against the injured body part.
The old joke about falling:
It wasn’t the falling that hurt, it was the stopping.
This joke gets the point. When someone falls, the injury isn’t just from contact with the ground, but also because of the rapid change in speed when the body comes into contact with the ground. A fall from a high bridge can kill, even though the body hits nothing harder than water. The change in speed can be so dramatic, that it kills. Our bodies evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. We have only had high speeds machines for a few hundred.
This is why the so-called whiplash injury are so common today. Rapid changes in speed of the head and neck, which can occur in even minor vehicle damage wrecks, have potential to damage the brain, back, neck and spinal cord and are why brains injure.
NEXT: Non-Obstacles to Recovery.