Treatment of whiplash associated neck pain [corrected] with botulinum toxin-A: a pilot study

B J Freund, M Schwartz
Journal of Rheumatology 2000, 27 (2): 481-4

OBJECTIVE: Up to 87% of patients with whiplash associated disorder (WAD) have some degree of muscle spasm that is contributory to both pain and dysfunction. Botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) produces prolonged muscle relaxation that is dose-dependent and can be easily targeted to affected muscles. BTX-A therapy may be an effective form of therapy offering an alternative or adjunct to conventional modalities. We investigated BTX-A as therapy in patients with WAD.

METHODS: This randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study compares outcome measures in 26 patients with chronic neck pain (WAD-II chronic) subsequent to a motor vehicle accident. One-half of the patients received 100 units BTX-A, diluted in 1 ml saline, while the other half received just saline (1 ml). Five trigger points received 0.2 ml each of injectant via a 30 gauge needle. Outcome measures included total subjective neck, shoulder, and head pain based on visual analog scales; objective total range of neck motion (ROM), and the Vernon-Mior subjective function index. Followup assessments were carried out at 2 and 4 weeks post-treatment.

RESULTS: Fourteen subjects receiving BTX-A and 12 receiving saline completed the study. The treatment group showed a trend toward improvement in ROM and reduction in pain at 2 weeks post-injection. At 4 weeks post-injection the treatment group was significantly improved from preinjection levels (p < 0.01). The placebo group showed no statistically significant changes at any post-treatment time. The Vernon-Mior scale revealed a trend to improvement for both groups.

CONCLUSION: BTX-A treatment of subjects with chronic WAD II neck pain resulted in a significant (p < 0.01) improvement in ROM and subjective pain compared to a placebo group, but only a trend to improvement in subjective functioning.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.