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Whiplash: subgrouping based on hyperexcitability of the central nervous system and posttraumatic stress disorder

Professor Michele Sterling is one of the leading researchers in the field of whiplash associated disorders. As Michele is a physiotherapist, she does great work of relevance for rehabilitation in patients with chronic whiplash. This study is one of her recent ‘masterpieces’, showing that not all, but many patients with chronic whiplash associated disorders present with objective signs of hyperexcitability of the central nervous system (http://www.paininmotion.be/CPMChronicWAD-CR12.html and http://www.paininmotion.be/Persbericht-chronische-whiplash.htm), as well as posttraumatic stress disorder. Importantly, this new study showed that chronic whiplash patients can (and probably should) be subgrouped based on the presence (or absence) of hyperexcitability of the central nervous system and posttraumatic stress disorder. Indeed, chronic whiplash patients can present with either hyperexcitability of the central nervous system or posttraumatic stress disorder, or both. The subgroup of patients having both hyperexcitability of the central nervous system and posttraumatic stress disorder is clearly the most disabled one.

Jo Nijs

Further reading:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23707284