Whiplash injury - diagnosis and evaluation

Ro M, Borchgrevink G, Daehli B, Finset A, Lilleas F, Laake K, Nyland H, Loeb M
Record ID 32000001788
Authors' objectives:

This report aims to summarise the available documentation that could lead to the establishment of guidelines for the diagnosis of whiplash injuries.

Authors' recommendations: - 3-5% of all persons exposed to a whiplash injury mechanism following a motor vehicle collision develop acute whiplash injury symptoms within 0-3 days. - The most common symptoms of acute whiplash are neck pain and stiffness (80% of the 3-5% who develop symptoms) and headache. - There is no documented evidence supporting a causal relationship between type or grade of injury and specific symptoms or symptom constellations. - A minority of patients (10% of the 3-5% who develop symptoms) develop chronic complaints that have a considerable impact on their level of functioning. - The clinical characteristics with respect to the development of chronic symptoms are unclear. - Objective signs are far from specific and are not robust enough to lead one to common patho-physiological mechanisms for "chronic whiplash-syndrome". - Evidence-based documentation has not been found to support the contention that chronic complaints following a whiplash injury mechanism are specific or are directly related to the actual injury mechanism. - We are thus left with an incomplete diagnostic explanation for this condition and thus stress the need for further research in this area. Also necessary is an increased knowledge of the normal physiology of the neck and the general development of chronic pain.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project: http://www.nokc.no/
Year Published: 2000
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Norway
MeSH Terms
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Whiplash Injuries
Organisation Name: Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Contact Address: Universitetsgata 2, Postbox 7004 St. Olavs plass, NO-0310 Oslo NORWAY. Tel: +47 23 25 50 00; Fax: +47 23 25 50 10;
Contact Name: Berit.Morland@nokc.no, dagny.fredheim@nokc.no
Contact Email: Berit.Morland@nokc.no, dagny.fredheim@nokc.no
Copyright: The Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
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