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Scand J Rehabil Med. 1992;24(1):51-9.

Low energy high frequency pulsed electromagnetic therapy for acute whiplash injuries. A double blind randomized controlled study.

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Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


The standard treatment of acute whiplash injuries (soft collar and analgesia) is frequently unsuccessful. Pulsed electromagnetic therapy PEMT (as pulsed 27 MHz) has been shown to have pro-healing and anti-inflammatory effects. This study examines the effect of PEMT on the acute whiplash syndrome. One half of the 40 patients entering the study received active PEMT collars: the other half facsimile (placebo). All patients were given instructions to wear the collar for eight hours a day at home and advised to mobilise their necks. At 2 and 4 weeks the actively treated group had significantly improved (p less than 0.05) in terms of pain (visual analogue scale). By chance movement scores for the PEMT group were significantly worse at entry to the study than the control group (p less than 0.05). At 12 weeks they had become significantly better (p less than 0.05). PEMT as described is safe for domiciliary use and this study suggests that PEMT has a beneficial effect in the management of the acute whiplash injury.

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