Neck-specific exercises with Internet-based support compared to the same exercises at a physiotherapy clinic for chronic whiplash-associated disorders (WAD)

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 included 140 participants. Outcomes were measured at baseline, 3 months (end of treatment), and 15 months (12 months after end of intervention). The 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, LINK.

Research Group