Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Neck FAQ

Question:

I had a very minor car accident last year. Ever since I notice I can't turn my head to the left quickly without getting dizzy. What could be causing this?

Answer:

Head and neck injuries are common after car accidents, even minor ones. Many people develop what's called a whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). Your symptom may be caused by a WAD.

Movement of the head and neck uses information from three systems. The muscles in the head and neck send information to the brain about position, speed, and movement. The inner ear (vestibular system) keeps us upright without dizziness and falls. Data from the eyes (ocular system) is also an important part of staying upright and moving through space.

Even minor car accidents can cause a problem in one (or more) of these systems. Dizziness suggests a problem in the vestibular system. There are tests that can be done to find out for sure. You may want to make an appointment with your doctor for an exam. Often treatment for this kind of problem is very quick and easy.

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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