Objective: An earlier pilot study suggested that the late whiplash syndrome is uncommon in Greece. The purpose of the present study is to extend the evaluation to a larger sample, and include the prevalence of specific symptoms in the evaluation.
Methods: In a prospective, cohort study, a total of 180 accident victims were consecutively recruited following Emergency ward presentation. A standard questionnaire asked about neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, limb numbness or pain, and dizziness. Accident victims were followed for 6 months.
Results: In the initial 4 weeks after the accident, accident victims reported neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, arm numbness or pain, and dizziness, but at 4 weeks more than 90% had recovered from these, the remainder of the subjects having minor symptoms (not requiring therapy), and returning to their pre-accident state of health (which included minor symptoms). There were no cases of chronic disability.
Conclusion: In Greece, symptoms after an acute whiplash injury are self-limiting, brief, and do not appear to evolve into the so-called late whiplash syndrome.