No evidence that ‘active management’ aids recovery, researchers say
Intensive treatment for whiplash – a major cause of musculoskeletal complaints and employee absence – is no better than standard care, researchers say.
A study which looked at the treatment of more than 2,700 people with mild to moderate whiplash found no additional benefits in those who had more intensive care.
There has long been debate about how best to deal with whiplash injury, but little research to support any specific approach.
Some theories suggest that giving sufferers more positive messages about recovery and specific advice on beneficial exercises as well as advising an early return to work and normal activities can help people recover more quickly.
The study, published in the Lancet, compared this 'active management' approach with standard care – general advice to exercise and advice sheets.
And researchers found no difference in how those with the more intensive care fared with those who had the usual treatment.
Whiplash injuries cost the UK economy about £3.1bn a year, a figure which includes both the cost of treatment and their subsequent need to take time off work.
The abstract to the study is available here.