Whiplash-associated disorder: musculoskeletal pain and related clinical findings

J Man Manip Ther. 2011 Nov;19(4):194-200. doi: 10.1179/106698111X13129729551949.


The aim of this paper was to review the physical and psychological processes associated with whiplash-associated disorders. There is now much scientific data available to indicate the presence of disturbed nociceptive processing, stress system responses, muscle and motor changes as well as psychological factors in both acute and chronic whiplash-associated disorders. Some of these factors seem to be associated with the transition from acute to chronic pain and have demonstrated prognostic capacity. Further investigation is required to determine if these processes can be modified and if modification will lead to improved outcomes for this condition. The burden of whiplash injuries, the high rate of transition to chronicity, and evidence of limited effects of current management on transition rates demand new directions in evaluation and management. The understanding of processes underlying this condition is improving and this lays the foundation for the development of more effective management approaches.

Keywords: MCV; Musculoskeletal pain; WAD.