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A Population-based, Incidence Cohort Study of Mid-back Pain After Traffic Collisions

By |December 11, 2016|Traffic Collisions, Whiplash|

A Population-based, Incidence Cohort Study of Mid-back Pain After Traffic Collisions: Factors Associated with Global Recovery

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Eur J Pain. 2015 (Nov); 19 (10): 1486–1495 ~ FULL TEXT

M.S. Johansson, E. Boyle, J. Hartvigsen,
M. Jensen Stochkendahl, L. Carroll, and
J.D. Cassidy

Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics,
Faculty of Health,
University of Southern Denmark,
Odense, Denmark.


BACKGROUND:   Traffic collisions often result in a wide range of symptoms included in the umbrella term whiplash-associated disorders. Mid-back pain (MBP) is one of these symptoms. The incidence and prognosis of different traffic injuries and their related conditions (e.g. neck pain, low back pain, depression or others) has been investigated previously; however, knowledge about traffic collision-related MBP is lacking. The study objectives were to describe the incidence, course of recovery and prognosis of MBP after traffic collisions, in terms of global self-reported recovery.

METHODS:   Longitudinal data from a population-based inception cohort of all traffic injuries occurring in Saskatchewan, Canada, during a 2-year period were used. Annual overall and age-sex-specific incidence rates were calculated, the course of recovery was described using the Kaplan-Meier technique, and associations between participant characteristics and time-to-self-reported recovery were explored in 3,496 MBP cases using Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS:   The yearly incidence rate was 236 per 100,000 population during the study period, and was highest in women and in young persons. The median time-to-first reported recovery was 101 days (95% CI: 99-104) and about 23% were still not recovered after 1 year. Participant’s expectation for recovery, general health, extent of severely affecting comorbidities and having experienced a previous traffic injury were some of the prognostic factors identified.

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Comparing 2 Whiplash Grading Systems
To Predict Clinical Outcomes

By |September 2, 2016|Whiplash|

Comparing 2 Whiplash Grading Systems
To Predict Clinical Outcomes

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SOURCE:   J Chiropractic Medicine 2016 (Jun); 15 (2): 81–86

Arthur C. Croft, PhD, DC, MSc, MPH, Alireza Bagherian, DC,
Patrick K. Mickelsen, DC, Stephen Wagner, DC

Spine Research Institute of San Diego,
San Diego, CA.


OBJECTIVE:   Two whiplash severity grading systems have been developed: Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-Associated Disorders (QTF-WAD) and the Croft grading system. The majority of clinical studies to date have used the modified grading system published by the QTF-WAD in 1995 and have demonstrated some ability to predict outcome. But most studies include only injuries of lower severity (grades 1 and 2), preventing a broader interpretation. The purpose of this study was assess the ability of these grading systems to predict clinical outcome within the context of a broader injury spectrum.

METHODS:   This study evaluated both grading systems for their ability to predict the bivalent outcome, recovery, within a sample of 118 whiplash patients who were part of a previous case-control designed study. Of these, 36% (controls) had recovered, and 64% (cases) had not recovered. The discrete bivariate distribution between recovery status and whiplash grade was analyzed using the 2-tailed cross-tabulation statistics.

RESULTS:   Applying the criteria of the original 1993 Croft grading system, the subset comprised 1 grade 1 injury, 32 grade 2 injuries, 53 grade 3 injuries, and 32 grade 4 injuries. Applying the criteria of the modified (QTF-WAD) grading system, there were 1 grade 1 injury, 89 grade 2 injuries, and 28 grade 3 injuries. Both whiplash grading systems correlated negatively with recovery; that is, higher severity grades predicted a lower probability of recovery, and statistically significant correlations were observed in both, but the Croft grading system substantially outperformed the QTF-WAD system on this measure.

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Vertical Posture and Head Stability in Patients With Chronic Neck Pain

By |May 19, 2016|Chronic Neck Pain, Whiplash|

Vertical Posture and Head Stability in Patients With Chronic Neck Pain

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SOURCE:   J Rehabil Med. 2003 (Sep); 35 (5): 229–235

P. Michaelson, M. Michaelson, S. Jaric,
M .L. Latash, P. Sjölander, M. Djupsjöbacka

Southern Lapland Research Department
Vilhelmina, Sweden.


OBJECTIVE:   To evaluate postural performance and head stabilization of patients with chronic neck pain.

DESIGN:   A single-blind comparative group study.

SUBJECTS:   Patients with work-related chronic neck pain (n = 9), with chronic whiplash associated disorders (n = 9) and healthy subjects (n = 16).

METHODS:   During quiet standing in different conditions (e.g. 1 and 2 feet standing, tandem standing, and open and closed eyes) the sway areas and the ability to maintain the postures were measured. The maximal peak-to-peak displacement of the centre of pressure and the head translation were analysed during predictable and unpredictable postural perturbations.

RESULTS:   Patients with chronic neck pain, in particular those with whiplash-associated disorders, showed larger sway areas and reduced ability to successfully execute more challenging balance tasks. They also displayed larger sway areas and reduced head stability during perturbations.

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Management of Neck Pain and Associated Disorders

By |March 23, 2016|Guidelines, Neck Pain, Whiplash|

Management of Neck Pain and Associated Disorders: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration

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SOURCE:   Eur Spine J. 2016 (Mar 16) [Epub]

Côté P, Wong JJ, Sutton D, Shearer HM, Mior S et. al.

Canada Research Chair in
Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation,
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT),
2000 Simcoe Street North,
Oshawa, ON, L1H 7L7, Canada.


PURPOSE:   To develop an evidence-based guideline for the management of grades I-III neck pain and associated disorders (NAD).

METHODS:   This guideline is based on recent systematic reviews of high-quality studies. A multidisciplinary expert panel considered the evidence of effectiveness, safety, cost-effectiveness, societal and ethical values, and patient experiences (obtained from qualitative research) when formulating recommendations. Target audience includes clinicians; target population is adults with grades I-III NAD <6 months duration.

RECOMMENDATION 1:   Clinicians should rule out major structural or other pathologies as the cause of NAD. Once major pathology has been ruled out, clinicians should classify NAD as grade I, II, or III.

RECOMMENDATION 2:   Clinicians should assess prognostic factors for delayed recovery from NAD.

RECOMMENDATION 3:   Clinicians should educate and reassure patients about the benign and self-limited nature of the typical course of NAD grades I-III and the importance of maintaining activity and movement. Patients with worsening symptoms and those who develop new physical or psychological symptoms should be referred to a physician for further evaluation at any time during their care.

RECOMMENDATION 4:   For NAD grades I-II ≤3 months duration, clinicians may consider structured patient education in combination with: range of motion exercise, multimodal care (range of motion exercise with manipulation or mobilization), or muscle relaxants. In view of evidence of no effectiveness, clinicians should not offer structured patient education alone, strain-counterstrain therapy, relaxation massage, cervical collar, electroacupuncture, electrotherapy, or clinic-based heat.

RECOMMENDATION 5:   For NAD grades I-II >3 months duration, clinicians may consider structured patient education in combination with: range of motion and strengthening exercises, qigong, yoga, multimodal care (exercise with manipulation or mobilization), clinical massage, low-level laser therapy, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In view of evidence of no effectiveness, clinicians should not offer strengthening exercises alone, strain-counterstrain therapy, relaxation massage, relaxation therapy for pain or disability, electrotherapy, shortwave diathermy, clinic-based heat, electroacupuncture, or botulinum toxin injections.

RECOMMENDATION 6:   For NAD grade III ≤3 months duration, clinicians may consider supervised strengthening exercises in addition to structured patient education. In view of evidence of no effectiveness, clinicians should not offer structured patient education alone, cervical collar, low-level laser therapy, or traction.

RECOMMENDATION 7:   For NAD grade III >3 months duration, clinicians should not offer a cervical collar. Patients who continue to experience neurological signs and disability more than 3 months after injury should be referred to a physician for investigation and management.

RECOMMENDATION 8:   Clinicians should reassess the patient at every visit to determine if additional care is necessary, the condition is worsening, or the patient has recovered. Patients reporting significant recovery should be discharged.

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Patients’ Experiences With Vehicle Collision

By |March 8, 2016|Evidence-based Practice, Whiplash|

Patients’ Experiences With Vehicle Collision to Inform the Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines: A Narrative Inquiry

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SOURCE:   J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2016 (Feb 26) [EPub]

Gail M. Lindsay, RN, PhD, Silvano A. Mior, DC, PhD,
Pierre Côté, DC, PhD, Linda J. Carroll, PhD,
Heather M. Shearer, DC, MSc

Associate Professor,
Faculty of Health Sciences,
University of Ontario Institute of Technology,
Oshawa, ON


OBJECTIVE:   The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to explore the experiences of persons who were injured in traffic collisions and seek their recommendations for the development of clinical practice guideline (CPG) for the management of minor traffic injuries.

METHODS:   Patients receiving care for traffic injuries were recruited from 4 clinics in Ontario, Canada resulting in 11 adult participants (5 men, 6 women). Eight were injured while driving cars, 1 was injured on a motorcycle, 2 were pedestrians, and none caused the collision. Using narrative inquiry methodology, initial interviews were audiotaped, and follow-up interviews were held within 2 weeks to extend the story of experience created from the first interview. Narrative plotlines across the 11 stories were identified, and a composite story inclusive of all recommendations was developed by the authors. The research findings and composite narrative were used to inform the CPG Expert Panel in the development of new CPGs.

RESULTS:   Four recommended directions were identified from the narrative inquiry process and applied. First, terminology that caused stigma was a concern. This resulted in modified language (“injured persons”) being adopted by the Expert Panel, and a new nomenclature categorizing layers of injury was identified. Second, participants valued being engaged as partners with health care practitioners. This resulted in inclusion of shared decision-making as a foundational recommendation connecting CPGs and care planning. Third, emotional distress was recognized as a factor in recovery. Therefore, the importance of early detection and the ongoing evaluation of risk factors for delayed recovery were included in all CPGs. Fourth, participants shared that they were unfamiliar with the health care system and insurance industry before their accident. Thus, repeatedly orienting injured persons to the system was advised.

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Function in Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy or Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders Compared With Healthy Volunteers

By |June 5, 2014|Rehabilitation, Whiplash|

Function in Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy or Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorders Compared With Healthy Volunteers

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SOURCE:   J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014 (May);   37 (4):   211–218

Anneli Peolsson, PhD, Maria Landén Ludvigsson, MSc, PT, Johanna Wibault, MSc, PT, Åsa Dedering, PhD, PT, Gunnel Peterson, MSc, PT

Anneli Peolsson, Associate Professor, PhD, PT,
Department of Medical and Health Sciences,
Physiotherapy, Hälsans hus plan 12, Campus US,
Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping, Sweden


Objective   The purposes of this study were to examine whether any differences in function and health exist between patients with cervical radiculopathy (CR) due to disk disease scheduled for surgery and patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WADs) and to compare measures of patients’ physical function with those obtained from healthy volunteers.

Methods   This is a cross-sectional study of patients with CR (n = 198) and patients with chronic WAD (n = 215). Patient data were compared with raw data previously obtained from healthy people. Physical measures included cervical active range of motion, neck muscle endurance, and hand grip strength. Self-rated measures included pain intensity (visual analog scale), neck disability (Neck Disability Index), self-efficacy (Self-Efficacy Scale), and health-related quality of life (EuroQol 5-dimensional self-classifier).

Results   Patient groups exhibited significantly lower performance than the healthy group in all physical measures (P < .0005) except for neck muscle endurance in flexion for women (P > .09). There was a general trend toward worse results in the CR group than the WAD group, with significant differences in neck active range of motion, left hand strength for women, pain intensity, Neck Disability Index, EuroQol 5-dimensional self-classifier, and Self-Efficacy Scale (P < .0001).

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