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Physiotherapy rehabilitation for whiplash associated disorder II: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
  1. Zoe A Michaleff,
  2. Manuela L Ferreira
  1. Musculoskeletal Division, The George Institute, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Zoe A Michaleff, The George Institute, Musculoskeletal Division, PO Box M201 Missenden Rd, Sydney, New South Wales 2050, Australia; zmichaleff{at}

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Whiplash injuries occur due to an ‘acceleration–deceleration energy transfer to the neck’, usually as the result of a motor vehicle accident, although the injury may also occur while participating in sport for example, diving. Clinically, whiplash injuries are graded 0–IV (higher grade indicates increased severity) with the majority of patients (93.4%) classified as having a grade II injury (neck complaint eg, pain, stiffness or tenderness AND musculoskeletal signs eg, reduced range of motion).1 While grade II whiplash injuries are frequently managed with conservative treatment approaches, the effectiveness of specific physiotherapy interventions has not been investigated in isolation.


The authors synthesised the best available evidence to determine the short (<3 months) and long-term (>12 months) effectiveness of physiotherapy outpatient management of patients presenting with grade II whiplash injury compared with either no intervention, placebo or other intervention for example, advice/education by a general practitioner, cervical collar.

Searches and inclusion criteria

Eight biomedical databases were searched from their inception until December 2010. Authors also searched selected internet/indexing sites, trial registers, key journals, reference lists, unpublished research (eg, conference proceedings, published abstracts) and personal citation tracking for key authors in the field. …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.