Finite helical axis parameters (FHAP) of the cervical spine and clinical measures were obtained to evaluate neck function and the clinical effects of spinal manipulative therapy in patients with “whiplash” (WL) type neck injury.


Descriptive case series, 1 yr follow-up.


Three private chiropractic practices.


Ten consecutive new patients with a history of neck injury, nine asymptomatic, volunteer controls.


A 6-wk regimen of short lever manually assisted adjustments with an Activator Instrument, while acute, four patients received interferential electrotherapy.


Cervical FHAP during normal movements, neck pain (visual analogue scale), active cervical range of motion and follow-up questionnaire.


Based on six patients, the FHAPs appeared to mirror the clinical condition, being markedly deviant from the patterns observed in the control group for at least one or more of the tracking tasks for all but one of the patients. Mean pain scores decreased from 44.1 to 10.5 (t = 4.93; p < .0001) and mean total range of motion increased from 234 to 297 degrees (t = 5.68; p < .0001). At 1 yr, seven respondents noted stability of their symptoms at or near the level reported immediately after the 6-wk treatment period.


Based on these preliminary data: a) FHAPs may aid in diagnosing and monitoring treatment of neck dysfunction, b) spinal manipulative therapy may be beneficial to some patients with neck injury and future study is warranted as a means to promote recovery of patients with neck injuries.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1992 Oct;15(8):501-11. [PMID:1402410]

Author information: Osterbauer PJ, Derickson KL, Peles JD, DeBoer KF, Fuhr AW, Winters JM. Whiplash Analysis, Inc., Phoenix, AZ 85018.