Scientists found that whiplash caused by accidents is one of the most difficult injuries to recover compared to other musculoskeletal injuries.
A study published in BMC Public Health shows that, only 44% whiplash patients had returned to work after two years, while patients with other musculoskeletal injuries reached 57%.
An estimated 19-60% of patients with whiplash still experience some symptoms after a 6-month treatment. Researchers from Denmark had conducted a study on 104 adults with whiplash and 3,204 cases with musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain. All participants were given a sick leave at least 8 weeks prior to the start of the study and then were supervised in 26 weeks, one year, two years and three years later.
Findings from the study:
|Return to work||Other musculoskeletal disorders||Whiplash|
Patients with other musculoskeletal disorders returned to work sooner than those with whiplash disorders.
The above results are considered more optimistic than those of previous studies, where the number of whiplash patients returning to work after a year was 51%. For example, a study in 2001 showed that only 12% whiplash patients returned to normal life after the same period of time.
These findings suggest that an active rehabilitation is critical to individuals with musculoskeletal disorders, especially those with whiplash in the early stage. Rehabilitation, such as chiropractic care and exercises, may significantly improve the patients’ chance of recovery.
(Author: Marissa Luck)
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