BACKGROUND: Several factors such as neck pain intensity, disability, anxiety, depression, female sex, or a previous history of headache are associated with post-whiplash headache. However, the possible role of psychosocial factors contributing to the presence of headache or worsening of headache after a whiplash trauma remains unclear. To address this gap in knowledge, there is the need to assess psychosocial factors concerning headache shortly after a whiplash injury.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate psychological features, pain and disability in people with acute whiplash associated disorders (WAD) and compare these features between those with and without headache.
DESIGN: Case-control study.
SETTING: A secondary care traumatology center.
METHODS: Forty-seven people with acute WAD were recruited; 28 with headache, and 19 without. All participants completed self-reported questionnaires including Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for neck pain intensity, the Neck Disability Index (NDI), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Tampa Scale Kinesiophobia-11 (TSK-11), and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.
RESULTS: Neck pain intensity (P < .001), neck disability (P < 0.001), pain catastrophizing (P < .001), kinesiophobia (P < .001), and anxiety state (P = .007) and trait (P = .05) were higher in those with headache when compared to those without. In addition, high levels of neck pain (P = .025), moderate levels of neck disability (P < .001), moderate levels of pain catastrophizing (P = .015), and moderate (P = .002) and severe (P = .016) levels of kinesiophobia were related to the presence of headache.
CONCLUSION: The level of neck pain intensity and disability, kinesiophobia, catastrophizing, and anxiety were all greater in people with acute WAD who presented with a headache compared to those without headache.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
- Neck Pain
- Psychosocial Factors
- Whiplash Associated Disorders