Whiplash: more than a crash for cash condition
Chronic Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) and the value of MRI in diagnosis, prognosis, and intervention
James Elliott, PT, PhD
October 5, 2013, 9:00am – 4:30pm
The prevailing opinion surrounding whiplash injuries is that poor functional recovery is largely influenced by social, psychological and behavioral factors. This lecture investigates the evidence indicating that chronic WAD may an expression of an initial injury involving the central nervous system, at least in a subset of patients. Disordered activity in the stress-response system has also been observed, providing a link between psychological and measurable biological processes that might explain the occurrence and maintenance of chronic WAD.
- Provide an overview of neuromuscular impairments in the skeletal muscle system
- Highlight recent MRI evidence of altered spinal cord physiology following whiplash injury
- Identify the primary clinical and radiological findings that determine best management decisions for high-risk patients with traumatic neck pain
- Understand how stress-system regulation is influenced by emotional and physiological distress, and how dysregulation can increase risk of chronic WAD
- Integrate current best evidence into effective assessment, sub-group classification and management of the patient with acute and chronic traumatically induced neck disorders.
Read the Full Lecture Description
Jim completed his PhD at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia (UQ) in 2007. He was later awarded a UQ post-doctoral research fellowship working within the Centre for Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health, the Centre for Magnetic Resonance and the Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine. He is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois and an Honorary Senior Fellow in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland, Australia. Jim is the principal investigator of the Neuromuscular Imaging Research Laboratory at Northwestern University www.nirl.nu
His interdisciplinary research interests involve the use of conventional and advanced magnetic resonance imaging applications to quantify altered spinal cord physiology and the temporal development of skeletal muscle degeneration following neck trauma; central and peripheral pain processing and the role of inflammation in the development of persistent pain-related disability following whiplash injury. Jim was awarded the Eugene Michels New Investigator Award (2011) from the American Physical Therapy Association. He has published widely in the area of radiological and spine related sciences and currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the journal, Spine and an Editorial Review Board Member of the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. Also noteworthy, Jim played professional baseball for the San Diego Padres Baseball Club (1990-1992) and worked in major league baseball operations for the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club (1993-1996).2