Does the presence of sensory hypersensitivity influence outcomes of physical rehabilitation for chronic whiplash? – A preliminary RCT

G. Jull, M. Sterling, J. Kenardy and E. Beller                              

This study explored wwhether a multimodal program of physical therapies was an appropriate management to be broadly prescribed for patients with chronic whiplash associated disorders when it was known that some would have sensory features suggestive of a notable pain syndrome. A randomised controlled trial was conducted with 71 participants with persistent neck pain following a motor vehicle crash. Participants were randomly allocated to receive either a multimodal physiotherapy program (MPT) or a self-management program (SMP) (advice and exercise). The results show that even with the presence of sensory hypersensitivity in 72.5% of subjects, both groups reported some relief of neck pain and disability (Neck Disability Index) and it was superior in the group receiving multimodal physiotherapy. Post-hoc observations however suggested that relief was marginal in the subgroup with both widespread mechanical and cold hyperalgesia.

Pain, Volume 129, Issues 1-2, May 2007, Pages 28-34

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Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.

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