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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Apr 2022 - 8 Apr 2022


Front Neurol


The Whiplash Disease Reconsidered.


Astrup J, Gyntelberg F
Front Neurol. 2022; 13:821097.
PMID: 35359634.


The natural course of the whiplash disease is reconsidered in relation to the predominant view of its cause. It is assumed that a whiplash-type trauma is causing an acute tissue injury such as a distortion or sprain in the neck followed by neck pain and headache, which then tends to become a chronic pain condition. We conclude that the whiplash disease typically evolves following a minor trauma without any signs of a tissue injury. It presents with central neuromotor dysfunction, such as electromyography (EMG) hyperactivity and abnormal activation patterns associated with dyscoordination of the involved and adjacent muscle groups. This indicates a central neurological rather than a peripheral traumatic pathology. This view places the cause of the whiplash disease within the central nervous system, and, in concordance with the EMG abnormalities and motor dyscoordination, we suggest the term cervical spinal dyssynergia for this pathology. It provides a new paradigm for further investigations of this disease as well as a window for possible specific neuropharmacological therapy directed towards dysfunctional neuromotor control.