Open Access

Whiplash in individuals with known pre–accident, clinical neck status

  • O. Sjaastad1, 2, 6Email author,
  • T. A. Fredriksen3,
  • J. Båtnes2,
  • H. C. Petersen4 and
  • L. S. Bakketeig5
The Journal of Headache and Pain20067:270

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10194-006-0270-x

Received: 25 November 2005

Accepted: 31 January 2006

Published: 20 February 2006

Abstract

In whiplash studies, there may be interpretation difficulties: are post–whiplash findings, when present, a consequence of the whiplash trauma, or did they exist prior to trauma? In the Vågå headache epidemiology study (1995–1997), there was a headache history and detailed physical/neurological findings from the face/head/neck in 1838 18–65–year-old parishioners. In September 2001, four years after the Vågå study, a search through the Health Centre files divulged six cases with whiplash trauma in the intervening period. These parishioners could thus be their own controls. Two females did not develop new complaints. In the four parishioners with apparently new, subjective complaints, i. e., headache, neck pain, and a feeling of stiffness in the neck, there were corresponding findings as regards various parameters: shoulder area skin–roll test, changes in two, possible changes in two; range of motion, neck, changes in two, borderline changes in one; “features indicative of cervical abnormality” (“CF”), changes in all four; the mean, post–whiplash stage value was: 3.6+, against 1.6+ prior to accident (Vågå: only 0.93%, “CF” exceeding 3+). In the two without new complaints, the mean “CF” value was 1.0+. The number of cases is small, but the similarity of the symptoms—and signs—following whiplash injury may suggest an element of organic origin in the whiplash syndrome.

Key words

HeadacheWhiplashNeck sprainSkin–roll testMechanical precipitation of headache