Acupuncture treatment of whiplash injury

Int Tinnitus J. 2004;10(2):156-60.


We evaluated by computerized static posturography the postural changes after acupuncture treatment in a group of 27 patients (12 men and 15 women; mean age, 35.7+/-6.8 SD) having balance disorders caused by cervical torsion due to whiplash injury. Acupuncture was performed by piercing deeply and bilaterally acupuncture points bladder 10 and gall bladder 20 with steel needles that were twirled manually for 20 seconds. All patients underwent posturographic evaluations before and just after each session of acupuncture. The posturography was performed with open eyes (OE), closed eyes (CE), and closed eyes with retroflexed head (CER). The control group consisted of 25 patients complaining of the same symptoms as those recorded by the study group due to whiplash injury but treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and myorelaxation or with physiotherapy only. The data presented in this study revealed a considerable difference between the two groups as regards the reduction of the CE and CER length of the statokinesigram just before each session of acupuncture; the frequency oscillation on the sagittal plane in CER was reduced in the study group, whereas we noticed a progressive increase of its values in the control group. The high percentage of positive results in whiplash injury patients leads us to advocate acupuncture for balance disorders due to cervical pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cervical Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neck Muscles
  • Neck Pain
  • Postural Balance
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology
  • Vertigo
  • Whiplash Injuries / complications
  • Whiplash Injuries / therapy*