OBJECTIVE: To establish trends in whiplash-related health service use and cost in Victoria, Australia. DESIGN: Administrative data analysis. SUBJECTS: Whiplash patients claiming Transport Accident Commission (TAC) compensation for accidents dating between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2009 (n = 51,263). METHODS: Injury-related health service use during one year following the accident was determined from claim payment records. The incidence of whiplash claims in Victoria was calculated, as were inflation-adjusted health care costs.
BACKGROUND: Whiplash associated disorder is commonly linked to motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries. Cervical injury is attributed to rapid extension followed by neck flexion. The exact pathophysiology of whiplash is uncertain but probably involves some degree of aberrant muscle spasms and may produce a wide range of symptoms. The most commonly prescribed pharmacological agents for initial treatment of whiplash-associated pain are oral muscle relaxants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, potential systemic adverse effects limit these agents.
BACKGROUND: Chronic whiplash is a common and costly problem. Sensory hypersensitivity is a feature of chronic whiplash that is associated with poor responsiveness to physical treatments such as exercise. Modalities such as dry-needling have shown some capacity to modulate sensory hypersensitivity, suggesting that when combined with advice and exercise, such an approach may be more effective in the management of chronic whiplash. The primary aim of this project is to investigate the effectiveness of dry-needling, advice and exercise for chronic whiplash.