Novel insights into the interplay between ventral neck muscles in individuals with whiplash-associated disorders.

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Peterson G, Nilsson D, Trygg J, Falla D, Dedering Å, Wallman T, Peolsson A.
Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 16;5:15289

Chronic whiplash-associated disorder (WAD) is common after whiplash injury, with considerable personal, social, and economic burden. Despite decades of research, factors responsible for continuing pain and disability are largely unknown, and diagnostic tools are lacking. Here, we report a novel model of mechanical ventral neck muscle function recorded from non-invasive, real-time, ultrasound measurements. We calculated the deformation area and deformation rate in 23 individuals with persistent WAD and compared them to 23 sex- and age-matched controls. Multivariate statistics were used to analyse interactions between ventral neck muscles, revealing different interplay between muscles in individuals with WAD and healthy controls. Although the cause and effect relation cannot be established from this data, for the first time, we reveal a novel method capable of detecting different neck muscle interplay in people with WAD. This non-invasive method stands to make a major breakthrough in the assessment and diagnosis of people following a whiplash trauma.