Neck pain in demolition derby drivers

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 Apr;86(4):693-6. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2004.11.003.


Objective: To investigate neck pain in demolition derby car drivers.

Design: Retrospective survey.

Setting: Internet administered.

Participants: Demolition derby drivers who visited the Web site of the International Demolition Derby Association.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measure: Demolition derby neck pain questionnaire.

Results: Forty drivers participated in a mean of 30 career events and had an average of 52 car collisions per event, 55% being rear-end. Mean and maximum collision speeds were 26 and 45 miles/h (41.6 km/h, 72 km/h), respectively. Only 2 drivers reported their worst postparticipation neck pain lasted more than 3 months, and for 1 it lasted more than a year; for the majority, the worst neck pain event lasted less than 21 days. Three participants reported having mild chronic persistent derby-related neck pain (never went away). The remaining 37 drivers reported no chronic neck pain. The average pain episode was moderate or severe for 8, but for all respondents, the average pain episodes lasted less than 21 days. Ten reported chronic neck pain they believed was unrelated to derby competition (7 mild, 2 moderate, 1 severe).

Conclusions: These data suggest that derby drivers sustain less chronic neck pain after multiple car collision events than might otherwise be expected. Further study of this unique population of car drivers may contribute to understanding whiplash disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck Pain / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Whiplash Injuries / epidemiology*