n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Popular physical therapy modalities in the management of whiplash-associated disorders : original research

Volume 22, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



. The aim of this study was to determine current physiotherapy practice in private clinics across the UK in the management of whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) injuries.

. All treatment reports provided to a private health care company between January 2008 and July 2010 (=365) were included and analysed to determine the following: the treatments favoured in the management of whiplash; the number of sessions used on average; and the main reasons for discharge.
. Joint mobilisations, stretches and mobility exercises were favoured in the management of acute whiplash treatment and were used in 74%, 68% and 61% of cases, respectively. The most popular treatments in chronic whiplash, in order of preference, were: stretches (73%), joint mobilisations (69%) and soft-tissue massage (63%). On average, physiotherapists used 4.46 sessions and 7.21 modalities per patient. Although the outcome measures were limited to reason for discharge, the majority of patients were discharged because of 'treatment complete / self management sufficient', which may be assumed to be a favourable recovery for 79% of patients.
. This study found that physical therapists across the UK generally use evidence-based modalities in the treatment of whiplash. However, there remains a need to emphasise and embrace a more educational and active approach to the management of these injuries. The study recommends a protocol for treating WAD that includes supplementing therapeutic modalities with an exercise component, and routinely providing information and advice to 'act as usual'.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error