Whiplash associated disorders are currently a common musculoskeletal problem. Besides the high incidence in western countries, the costs derived from prolonged treatment and medicolegal compensation, make this entity a challenging problem for clinicians and insurance companies. To date, no conservative treatment has shown clear superiority in the management of acute cases.
Percutaneous needle electrolysis (PNE) is an effective approach for the treatment of Quebec type II acute whiplash syndrome (AWS). PNE consists in the application of brief galvanic currents into a damaged structure, producing a local controlled inflammatory response, with subsequent tissular healing enhancement.
Materials and methods
One hundred AWS patients were randomized into: (a) standard physiotherapy intervention for AWS; (b) a standardized PNE protocol for AWS. Both groups were assessed for treatment outcome at the 5th week mark.
Both groups showed a statistically significant improvement according to the Northwick Park Neck Questionnaire, visual analogic scale and pressure pain threshold. The improvement was similar in both groups, except for the pain pressure threshold, with a 56.6% reduction vs. 44.4% reduction in favour of the PNE group (P=0.035). In addition, the physio group consumed a mean treatment time of 20hours, while the PNE intervention averaged less than 1 hour in total.
PNE can be considered as an effective treatment option for AWS. Importantly, the technique is highly cost-effective, with limited equipment required and a notable treatment time reduction, compared to more comprehensive physiotherapy protocols.
Type of study
Randomized controlled trial.
Level of proof
1b.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Whiplash, Neck pain, Rehabilitation, Percutaneous, Electrolysis