Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

I was involved in a low-speed car accident. Even though we were only going 10 miles per hour, I still ended up with a whiplash injury. Is this normal?

Answer:

Studies show that women involved in low-speed motor vehicle accidents are most likely to develop whiplash associated disorders (WADs). Symptoms range from neck pain to headache, dizziness, and blurred vision. Some patients even have changes in their thinking and memory.

There are three systems at work here: (1) the vestibular (inner ear) system, (2) the ocular (eye) system, and (3) the neck (cervical spine). Any or all of these can be damaged in low speed accidents. Researchers report on impact, the head and neck move forward and back on average 2.5 times the speed of the struck vehicle.

Your situation is not uncommon.

Eythor Kristjansson, PT, MNFF, et al. A New Clinical Test for Cervicocephalic Kinesthetic Sensibility: "The Fly." In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. March 2004. Vol. 85. No. 3. Pp. 490-495.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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