Globally, neck pain is the fourth most common condition associated with longer periods of living with disability. Annually, approximately 0.3% of the population of Western countries undergo whiplash trauma, and half of those individuals will develop chronic problems with high costs for the individual and society.
Evidence for chronic whiplash-associated disorders treatment is scarce, though neck-specific training at a physiotherapy clinic twice a week for 12 weeks has demonstrated good results. More efficient, flexible rehabilitation with reduced waiting times and lower costs is needed, ideally replacing lengthy on-site treatment series by healthcare providers.
Internet-based care has been shown to be a viable alternative for a variety of diseases and interventions, but studies are lacking on Internet-based interventions for individuals with chronic neck problems. The aim of the present trial is to compare the effects of an Internet-based neck-specific exercise programme to the same exercises performed at a physiotherapy clinic in regards to self-reported and clinical measures, as well as cost-effectiveness.
This prospective, randomized controlled trial will involve 140 participants. Measurements will be made at baseline, 3 months (end of treatment), and 15 months (12 months after end of intervention) and will include ratings of pain, disability, satisfaction with care, work ability, quality of life, and cost-effectiveness.
The study results may contribute to the development of a more effective rehabilitation, flexible and equal care, shorter waiting times, increased availability, and lower costs for healthcare and society.