Category: Life Style Options
Injury Type: Chronic
What is it?
MedEx is a brand name for a type of exercise machine designed to strengthen the muscles of the neck, in particular the extensor muscles (muscles that lift the head up).
How does it work?
After any injury it is normal for wasting of muscles to occur (decrease in bulk or cross sectional area) which can lead to weakness. It is thought that this weakness may lead to poor control of movements of the small joints in the neck which may cause pain or hinder recovery from whiplash injury. It is proposed that strengthening the muscles of the neck may address this weakness and help expedite recovery from whiplash injury.
Is it effective?
There are no studies assessing the effectiveness of MedEx for whiplash. A recent systematic review of high quality scientific studies concluded that there was strong evidence to support the use of postural exercises but found no evidence to support the use of an overall neck strengthening program.
Are there any disadvantages?
Strengthening the neck muscles can lead to soreness in the short term as the neck muscles adapt to the exercise. These exercise programs initially require supervision of a health professional and may then require the purchase or hire of equipment which can be expensive.
Where do you get it?
Therapists who specialise in the use of these machines can be found in the Yellow pages.
The use of MedEx for whiplash cannot be recommended due to a lack of scientific evidence. More research is required.
- Mercer, C, Jackson, A & Moore, A 2007, 'Developing clinical guidelines for the physiotherapy management of whiplash associated disorder (WAD)', International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, vol. 10, no. 2-3, pp. 50-54.
- Schofferman, J, Bogduk, N & Slosar, P 2007, 'Chronic whiplash and whiplash associated disorders: an evidence based approach', Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, vol. 15, no. 10, pp. 596-606.
- MedEx systems 2008, viewed 8th December 2008.