Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Post-Concussion Syndrome -- therapy; Whiplash Injuries -- therapy; Case Reports


Background and Purpose: Neck pain is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal conditions in today’s world affecting individuals of all ages. More specifically, Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) is a major classification of neck pain that is often caused by motor vehicle accidents (MVA). The purpose of this case report is to reflect and examine the available evidence relevant to the examination, evaluation, and treatment procedures that were used for a patient following a MVA.

Case Description: The patient was a 52 year old female with COPD that presented with whiplash, post-concussion syndrome, and various soft tissue injuries following a motor vehicle accident. Intervention: The individual was seen by physical therapy for six days in the inpatient hospital setting followed by an additional 10 days in the transitional care unit (TCU). She received several physical therapy services including ice packs, interferential current (IFC) electrical stimulation, range of motion (ROM) activities, stretching and strengthening exercises, gait training, therapeutic ultrasound (US), and manual therapy.

Outcomes: Ambulation distance increased from 15 feet using a front wheeled walker (FWW) on the initial evaluation to over 800 feet using a single point cane at discharge. Pain decreased from 10/10 on an ordinal scale on the first visit to an average of 4-7/10 throughout her final week at the facility. Strength was increased to functional levels as well as normal range of motion attained throughout all extremities

Discussion: Active exercise, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and manual therapy may be effective methods for improving pain and decreasing function.