Whiplash cases were compared with asymptomatic persons. For common law purposes this is the wrong control group unless, on the balance of probabilities, the claimant can show they had above average health prior to the index event. This choice of asymptomatic control group is of some interest to medics but even here the choice has limited application. It would be useful if a specific lesion can be identified in whiplash cases and ruled out in all other neck pain cases.
PT Dall’Alba. Spine. October (2001) Vol. 26 #19 p 2090.
A report of a study of Range of Movement (ROM) for whiplash neck injury victims who are symptomatic after 3 months but before two years from the date of injury.
Reduced range of motion was detected vs. control group.
Although a computerised measurement system was deployed, the technique could be criticised for failing to ensure there could be no contribution from torso rotation. A more complete study would have measured fear of movement and, attitudes to pain.
All studies that rely on voluntary maximum effort will be at the mercy of factors other than biomechanical.
Research of this sort is often cited in support of there being long term tissue damage. This would seem to us to be an extrapolation.