Quantification of acute neck pain following whiplash injury by computer-aided pressure algesimetry


Philipp Stude, Department of Neurology, University of Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45122 Essen, Germany. Tel. +49 201 723 5973, e-mail: philipp.stude@uni-essen.de, http://www.uni-essen.de/neurologie/


Until now the clinical investigation of cervical pain due to whiplash injury is mainly based on finger palpation. The present study introduces a PC-interactive pressure algesimetry to standardize cervical pain measurement. Pressure pain scores of the splenius and trapezius muscles of 23 patients with an acute cervical syndrome after whiplash injury were compared to those of 24 healthy subjects. The pressure painfulness of neck and shoulder muscles was significantly increased in whiplash patients. The splenii muscles showed an equally increased muscle pain whereas the trapezii muscles showed a left-sided preponderance of painfulness, possibly due to the seat belt position in this group of motor vehicle drivers. The computer-interactive pressure algesimetry enables a standardized and rater-independent quantification of the cervical syndrome with neck and shoulder  pain  caused  by  whiplash  injury.