For many people, the term “whiplash”conjures up a fairly uncomfortable
image: being rear-ended by another car and having your
head suddenly snapped back and forth by the impact. Despite
innovations in automotive design, whiplash injuries have become
increasingly frequent in the past 30 years. Symptoms of whiplash
can include serious and lingering neck pain, back pain, headaches
and dizziness; no single effective treatment has been identified
to deal with this chronic, frustrating condition.
But help may be on the way. A recent study in Spine
suggests that early, active treatment is most effective for
managing whiplash symptoms. In the study, “active” treatment
consisted of repetitive motion exercises performed at home
(10 times every hour, beginning within 96 hours of injury);
“standard” treatment involved home exercises performed only
a few times each day, starting two weeks after injury.
Results showed that 38% of patients receiving immediate,
active treatment reported “no pain” at six-month followup,
compared to only 5% of patients receiving delayed standard
treatment. The authors note that this type of active home
treatment is an “ideal form of rehabilitation” because it
expends only small resources within the health care system.
It’s time to whip whiplash! If you or someone you know is
suffering from whiplash, schedule an appointment today with
a doctor of chiropractic. And for online information on this
condition, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/whiplash.html.
Rosenfeld M, Gunnarsson R, Borenstein P. Early intervention
in whiplash-associated disorders. A comparison of two treatment
protocols. Spine 2000: Vol. 25, No. 14, pp1782-87.