Pre-existing arthritis renders the whiplash victim more susceptible to bodily injury in trauma. In a rear impact, a victim without arthritis may experience nerve root compression, however, when there are spondylolytic changes (arthritis) in the foramina (whole between the vertebrate), the injury risk greatly increases and spreads to include both multiple cervical ganglia (bundles of nerves) and nerve roots.
Doctors have also concluded that these type of injuries may lead to permanent structural damage causing chronic radicular symptoms. Radicular symptomatology includes pain, weakness and numbness in the extremities. It should be noted that since spondylolytic changes in the foramen are present in most arthritics, this is a very common finding.