The acute whiplash injury is a significant health burden for patients and the healthcare system. Traditional approaches to treatment fail to resolve this ever growing medicolegal and social problem. A new biopsychosocial model of whiplash disorder encourages new ways of treating and preventing of the chronic disability. This biopsychosocial model takes into account the mechanism by which acute pain becomes chronic pain, and how this can be prevented. Specific education and treatments encourage a behaviour after whiplash injury that is conducive to more rapid recovery, and provides the whiplash patient with insight into the mediators of chronic pain. The article describes in practical terms how to use education, reassurance, a more judicious use of therapy, and exercise to achieve this goal. Practical guidelines are provided on educating the patient about other symptoms that may cause concern.
- neck pain
- neck sprain
- traffic collisions
- physical therapy
- WAD, whiplash associated disorder
- QTF, Quebec Task Force (on WAD)
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