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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Elliott 2011.

Evidence of muscle changes in people with whiplash

updated
Tags: etiology, neck, chronic pain, pro, head/neck, spine, pain problems

PainSci summary of Elliott 2011?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

A most intriguing paper, presenting evidence of muscle changes in people with chronic “whiplash associated disorders,” specifically extra fat (of all things). They looked at 44 people over several months who had had whiplash injury and found that “muscle fatty infiltrates in the cervical extensors occur soon following whiplash injury and suggest the possibility for the occurrence of a more severe injury with subsequent PTSD in patients with persistent symptoms.” The paper is nicely summarized and discussed on on Body In Mind.

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: Radiological findings associated with poor recovery following whiplash injury remain elusive. Muscle fatty infiltrates (MFI) in the cervical extensors on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with chronic pain have been observed. Their association with specific aspects of pain and psychological factors have yet to be explored longitudinally.

MATERIALS AND FINDINGS: 44 subjects with whiplash injury were enrolled at 4 weeks post-injury and classified at 6 months using scores on the Neck Disability Index as recovered, mild and moderate/severe. A measure for MFI and patient self-report of pain, loss of cervical range of movement and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were collected at 4 weeks, 3 months and 6 months post-injury. The effects of time and group and the interaction of time by group on MFI were determined. We assessed the mediating effect of posttraumatic stress and cervical range of movement on the longitudinal relationship between initial pain intensity and MFI. There was no difference in MFI across all groups at enrollment. MFI values increased in the moderate/severe group and were significantly higher in comparison to the recovered and mild groups at 3 and 6 months. No differences in MFI values were found between the mild and recovered groups. Initial severity of PTSD symptoms mediated the relationship between pain intensity and MFI at 6 months. Initial ROM loss did not.

CONCLUSIONS: MFI in the cervical extensors occur soon following whiplash injury and suggest the possibility for the occurrence of a more severe injury with subsequent PTSD in patients with persistent symptoms.


This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: