Changes in Pain, Disability, and Muscle Activation Patterns in Chronic Whiplash Patients After Ambulant Myofeedback Training.

Voerman, Gerlienke E. MSc; Vollenbroek-Hutten, Miriam M. R. PhD; Hermens, Hermie J. PhD

The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate changes in pain, disability, and muscle activation patterns in patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) after 4 weeks of myofeedback training. Eleven WAD patients received ambulatory myofeedback training, during which upper trapezius muscle activation and relaxation were continuously recorded and processed for 4 weeks. Feedback was provided when muscle relaxation was insufficient. The results showedthat pain intensity decreased after 4 weeks of training and there was a remarkable reduction in the Neck Disability Index items concerning headache and lifting weights.  The authors conclude that four weeks of ambulant training may be beneficial in reducing pain and disability levels and normalizing muscle activation patterns in chronic WAD patients. A randomized-controlled study is recommended to further explore the effects of myofeedback training.

Clinical Journal of Pain. 22(7):656-663, September 2006.

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