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  • Writer's pictureDr Josh Bonine DC

Dizziness and Vertigo Linked to Whiplash

Dizziness and Vertigo Linked to Whiplash

When eliciting a history from an accident victim, symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo and depression are often overlooked. Many victims experience these types of symptoms immediately or shortly following an impact. Some even describe lack of concentration and lack of energy. Whiplash symptoms can be very complex and many professionals overlook the Vestibular System (responsible for balance/equilibrium) when evaluating injuries.

Of 262 patients investigated 6 months to 5 years after a whiplash injury, 85% complained of persistent dizziness. Tinnitus was presented in 14% of patients, and unilateral or bilateral hearing loss was reported in 5% of cases. 25% of cases reported visual disturbances, such as blurred vision and focusing impairments.

According to Vibert et al. (2003), “Lesions of the vestibular organs…..after whiplash injuries are probably underestimated by attributing dizziness and vertigo symptoms mainly to cervical damage and lesions of the central nervous system” (p. 250). Following a traumatic event, symptoms such as those mentioned above need to be evaluated by a neurologist and can be diagnosed with tests that include V-ENG (vestibular-electronastagmography) or BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response). Clear definitions of these and other specialized neurologic tests can be obtained from the medical legal educator below.


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Vibert, D., & Häusler, R. (2003). Acute peripheral vestibular deficits after whiplash injuries. Annals in Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 112(3), 246-251.


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