Start PT Within 96 Hours for Whiplash

April 7, 2017 in Our News & Bulletins by Integrity Rehab

Studies show that physical therapy treatment should begin within 96 hours for those diagnosed with whiplash. In the past, the standard treatment for whiplash has been pain control, rest, and a soft-cervical collar but these recent studies suggest a more active approach at the onset of the injury. A more active approach in the early stages of the healing process of whiplash reduces pain intensity and the time it takes to recover and resume normal day-to-day activities.

Mark Rosenfeld and colleagues published a collection of studies on the treatment of whiplash in the research journal Spine. The researchers randomly placed 100 whiplash patients into three treatment groups. The first group received a standard plan of care including advice from a doctor, restricted activity instruction, and recommendations on stretching exercise to begin at home several weeks after the injury. Group 2 started physical therapy within four days of the whiplash. The final group received standard care in the beginning and began physical therapy within 14 days of the injury. After three years, only group 2, the patients who received physical therapy care within 96 hours of injury, had a neck range of motion close to normal. This group was also the quickest to return to work.

At Integrity Rehab, physical therapy treatment of whiplash is available within 48 hours. A referral from a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathic medicine, or doctor of chiropractic is required. We accept Key Health (with your lawyer’s approval), can bill your own health insurance, or you can pay entirely out-of pocket. Most health insurance plans are accepted.

Sources: Rosenfeld M, Gunnarsson R, Borenstein P. Early intervention in whiplash-associated disorders. Spine, 2000, 25 (14): 1782-87

Rosenfeld M, Seferiadis A, Carlsson UJ, et al. Active intervention in patients with whiplash associated disorders improves long term prognosis. A randomized controlled clinical trial. Spine, 2003, 28: 2491-2498

Rosenfeld M, Seferiadis A, Gunnarsson R. Active involvement and intervention in patients exposed to whiplash trauma in automobile pressures reduces costs. A randomized controlled clinical trial and health economic evaluation. Spine, 2006, 31: 1799-1804