Discussion of Acute Whiplash Study

Whiplash study says no benefits from intensive treatment

Please read the article and look at the research paper to help build your understanding of the research paper released today.

There is an ongoing area in research that needs to be addressed before people continue to release information into the mainstream. There are conclusions drawn about the effect of treatment on injuries that may need further clarification. There needs to be an understanding of the individual involved with regards to posture and their specific diagnosis. Obviously, in this whiplash study, a pre-injury assessment is impossible, however to group together 2700 people and ‘assume’ they are all the same will lead to results as we have seen in this study.

As so well stated in The Life of Brian, ‘we are all individuals, we are all different’. This could not be more true than for a group of individuals that have been involved in a whiplash injury. Aside form the obvious variations in each accident – speed, region of impact, impacts of the individual within the car, seat belts and airbags deployed – we must take into account the postural variations that each person might have and the effect they will have on their recovery.

To explain this further a young person with good natural posture, good joint mobility and muscle stability around the neck but in what might be considered a more ‘severe’ accident may well improve at the same rate as someone who is slightly older, maybe has some joint changes present, has very poor posture and therefore associated poor neck muscle stabilisers.

If in the cases suggested above the first person (young) ended up in the advice section and the second person (older) ended up in the six session protocol. Would it be surprising, after four months, that their recovery was not significantly different? Would you be right to claim that the treatment given was not effective for the individual? Is it not more likely that the individual involved may not have received the correct treatment for their case?

If there is a continued requirement to split groups randomly for a study we are unlikely to find the best results for the people we are trying to help, we are likely to change the system without actually benefiting the people you we should be aiming to helping.

In summary there needs to be a good long hard look at the aims of each research protocol to make sure we are placing improved and relevant information into the public view. Only this way can politicians and policy makers make the most informed decisions about how interpret medical research and implement it into our policies.

We should be aiming to get the most accurate information into the public eye.