Intense Physiotherapy No Better Than Advice and Self-Directed Exercise for Chronic Whiplash Pain
Sydney, AU - Results of a new trial of treatments for chronic whiplash pain, published in The Lancet, suggest that expensive, intense physiotherapy sessions do not show any additional benefit over a single physiotherapy session of education and advice with phone follow-up.
The findings are in line with previous studies on the subject, which have reported minimal additional benefit of longer physiotherapy programs over briefer physiotherapy programs for acute whiplash-associated disorders. The current study supports those claims, finding that while intensive physiotherapy has remained the recommended intervention, a more brief program encouraging self-management might be equally effective.
Study participants were solicited in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia, through advertisements in local newspapers, radio, and online, and via referral from a statutory authority set up to monitor motor vehicle and personal injury insurance plans.
The study included participants who had suffered a motor vehicle accident resulting in chronic whiplash, recruiting patients whose accident occurred no sooner than three months prior to signing up to the study, and no later than five years after the accident. Patients were enrolled between September 2009 and February 2012.
A total of 172 people were enrolled into the study, with participants randomly divided into two groups. The advice group received a single half-hour consultation with a trained physiotherapist who went over a pamphlet that provided information on whiplash-related disorders, suggestions on how to self-manage pain, and a simple exercise routine. Participants assigned to this group could have two additional phone consultations with the physiotherapists if desired. Continue>
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