Researchers compared the effects of 3 exercise approaches for patients with chronic whiplash. Neck muscle endurance, exercise compliance, kinesiophobia (when a patient develops a fear of moving for fear it will cause additional pain) and patient satisfaction were evaluated prior to the study, then again at 3 and 6 month follow-up sessions.
For the purposes of the study, 216 patients were divided into 3 groups. One group received neck-specific exercises. One group received neck-specific exercises along with a behavioral approach. The last group was prescribed physical activity.
At the conclusion of the study, researchers did not see notable differences between the groups for kinesiophobia or exercise compliance. However, both the neck exercise only and neck exercise with behavior approach groups showed greater improvements in neck muscle endurance as well as patient satisfaction when compared to the other groups. This research shows that neck muscle exercises are a vital part of recovery for whiplash, even when it has become a chronic issue.
As with any injury, typically, the sooner treatment is started, the faster a patient will recover. However, even when an injury has become chronic, there are still options for treatment and pain relief.
If you have neck pain or suspect you have whiplash, consult your chiropractor. With a thorough exam, your doctor can determine the nature of your injury and develop a treatment plan that is appropriate for your specific situation. This may include chiropractic adjustments, and modalities in the office, as well as stretches and rehab exercises to do at home between treatments.
It is important to follow the instructions given by your doctor of chiropractic to get the maximum results in the shortest time possible. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your treatment, feel free to ask questions. Your chiropractor will be happy to discuss your health with you to devise a plan that works for you.