This handout for your whiplash patients provides safe and sensible exercises and information to help them manage their injury.
Despite the new evidence about the mechanics of whiplash and the overriding social and legal implications of whiplash, physicians still are called upon to offer practical self-help advice to their patients on what they can or cannot do. The consensus on whiplash management is currently settling upon a combination of therapeutic approaches, which include patient information, reassurance, and mobilization or activation through neck-specific exercises. This approach has not been scientifically validated, but is a synthesis of the best current evidence. The following hand-out approach was first authored by the Physical Medicine Research Foundation in its work on the BC Whiplash Initiative, under the name Neck Talk, and is based on the works in this edition of the BC Medical Journal as well as previous review publications that developed from the World Congress on Whiplash, Vancouver 1999, which also included works from the Quebec Task Force.
Please photocopy and freely distribute the following pages to patients (unlimited noncommercial photocopying permitted).
During the years about 1996 to 1999 Dr Allen received honoraria, fees for speaking, fees for organizing education, and reimbursement from the Physical Medicine Research Foundation (PMRF) for matters related to the British Columbia Whiplash Initiative. PMRF was funded by a research grant from the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC). Dr Allen is no longer involved with PMRF or ICBC.
Practical management of whiplash - Patient handout - PDF format [requires Adobe Acrobat]
Frequently Asked Questions
What is whiplash?
What part is injured?
Who is most likely to get whiplash?
Can whiplash be prevented?
What about X-rays and scans?
Neck and shoulder pain seem pretty common—are they?
Are there different types of whiplash?
How long does it take to recover from whiplash?
What treatments are helpful?
What about other therapies?
What does “take it easy” mean when talking about my whiplash injury?
Is it in my head?
How do I know if I’m getting better?
When should I return to work?
What is the purpose of exercise?
Neck-specific exercises: The basics
These exercises can be done almost any time and any place
This article has been peer reviewed.
1. BC Whiplash Initiative. Whiplash-Associated Disorders, A Comprehensive Syllabus. Vancouver, BC: Physical Medicine Research Foundation, 1997. www.health-sciences.ubc.ca/whiplash.bc/home.html (January 1998; retrieved 17 April 2002).
2. Allen M(ed). Whiplash associated disorders. J Musculoskeletal Pain 2000;8:1-200.
Murray Allen, MD
Dr Allen is a senior fellow in Health Policy with The Fraser Institute in Vancouver. He was an associate professor of kinesiology at Simon Fraser University where he researched and published in the area of injury dynamics, including the dynamics of whiplash, and lectured internationally on this topic. He also ran a private consulting clinical practice on injury management and rehabilitation, and conducted independent examinations for injury assessment. He chaired the Physical Medicine Research Foundation 1998 Banff International Symposium entitled Musculoskeletal Pain Emanating from the Head and Neck, and edited the published proceedings. He co-chaired the BC Whiplash Initiative and was principal content author for its syllabi. Dr Allen was co-chair of the Traffic Safety and Engineering section of the World Congress on Whiplash 1999 in Vancouver, and senior editor for the Congress publication on diagnosis and treatment of whiplash-associated disorders. He currently practises out of Caulfeild in West Vancouver, BC.
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org