Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

I'm the manager of a large department store. We have several employees out on sick leave because of neck injuries from in-store accidents. Is there any way to tell when someone is faking symptoms to get benefits?

Answer:

Disabilities are faked for many reasons, including getting court awards, out-of-court settlements, drugs, and even sympathy and attention. When someone deliberately fakes an illness or condition, it's called malingering. When it's done unintentionally, we call it illness behavior.

Some doctors say exagerating pain may give some patients time out from work and other ies. Psychologic or social problems may be the real cause of the symptoms. For the patient, the symptoms still may be very real.

We don't have one single test to answer this question for sure. There are several tests to help give better information. Doctors and therapists perform this kind of exam. Researchers in Iceland have a new test called The Fly to show when head and neck motions are normal. In time this test may be used to find fakers.

Employees out on work-related injuries usually have a case manager. You may want to contact that person with your questions and concerns.

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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