Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I am driving a 1990 American-made minivan. The seats are designed with built-in head and neck rests, so there is no adjustment possible. I am much shorter than my husband, who also drives the van. The seats seem to fit him just fine, but I feel like the extended headrest pushes my head forward. Is this style safe for both of us in a car accident? What's the best position for a headrest?

Most of the extended seats in minivans do not offer individual adjustments to the headrests. According to engineers who research these issues, there is a big variation in what's "standard" for headrests in vehicles.

Studies show that the force of a rear-end impact on the head is less when the headrest is close to the head at the time of the accident and positioned just above the ears. Researchers are working to devise a seat with a head restraint that offers closer contact to the driver and maximally absorbs the impact energy.


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