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Category: Scientific Studies
Date 25-may-2003
Title A symptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment
Author Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M, Bannister G
Main Condition/ Disease  Whiplash neck pain
Source Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine 1999: Vol. 21, No. 1, pp22-25.
Abstract As quoted: Objective: To determine which patients with chronic whiplash will benefit from chiropractic treatment. Design: Retrospective review by structured telephone interviews of 93 consecutive patients seen in chiropractic clinic. Setting: Independent chiropractic clinic in a large city. Subjects: 93 patients, 68 female. Main outcome measure: Gargan and Bannister grading pre and post treatment. Results: Three groups of patients were recognised. Group 1 consisted of patients with isolated neck pain associated with a restricted range of neck movement. Group 2 consisted of patients with neurological symptoms or signs associated with a restricted range of movement. Group 3 comprised patients who described severe neck pain but all of whom had a full range of neck movement. Patients in this group often described an unusual group of symptoms, with a bizarre, non-dermatomal pain distribution. There was a significant difference in outcome between the three groups (p<0.001) with only groups 1 and 2 improving following chiropractic manipulation. Conclusion: Whiplash injuries are common. Chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment in chronic cases. Our study enables patients to be classified at initial assessment in order to target those patients who will benefit from such treatment.
Summary The Chiropractic Answer to Whiplash Chiropractic may offer the best opportunity for relief from the pain of whiplash, according to a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine. Ninety-three patients with chronic whiplash symptoms were divided into three groups based upon the nature and severity of their symptoms. All 93 patients received an average of 19.3 chiropractic adjustments over the study period (about four months).Results showed that two of the three groups (patients with neck pain, restricted neck range of motion and/or neurological symptoms) improved under chiropractic care, with 85.5% reporting "some benefit," 33.5% improving by two symptom grades, and 31% being relieved of all symptoms. The authors of this study conclude, when it comes to treating whiplash, "chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment."
Keywords Whiplash, chiropractic, neck pain, restricted, range of motion, ROM

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