What Everyone Should Know About Whiplash

Whiplash can happen from auto accidents, sports injuries and falls  .It is caused by an abnormal motion or force applied to the neck that causes movement beyond the neck’s normal range of motion. It is usually caused by a flexion-extension motion of the neck that pulls and strains the neck muscles and ligaments.  . Whiplash injury can range from minor discomfort that last a few days to chronic pain and disability that can linger for months.

Symptoms of whiplash can develop 24 to 48 hours after the incident and can include:

Neck pain



Arm pain

Jaw Pain

Back pain

Blurry Vision

Diagnosis of whiplash

Usually this can be diagnosed just by history of the injury and a physical examination.  X-Rays may be warranted to check for spinal injury  or alignment problems.  If teatment does not adequately alleviate your symptoms an MRI may be ordered to determine if the discs in the neck are bulging or herniated from the trauma.


Most treatment for whiplash is aimed towards reducing the swelling that occurs form the soft tissue damage, restoring motion to the neck if stiiffness or immobilty is present and restoring muscle strength to the injured tissue to prevent chronic pain..

Ice-this is the first defense against swelling.  If you suffer a whiplash injury  you should apply ice immediately for 10-15 minutes every hour.  This prevents swelling and relieves pain..

Ultrasound-uses sound waves to create an oscillating effect on the swollen tissue that reduces swelling.

Manual therapy-stretching ,trigger point therapy, and spinal manipulation reduce spasm and restore joint mobility

Exercise -at some point in therapy this will be necessary to offset atrophy of injured muscles.

If you have suffered a whiplash injury consult you chiropractor to get a diagnosis and any testing that may be needed.  Early intervention can prevent a chronic issue with whiplash injuries.  The longer you wait to seek treatment the better chance you will have a long standing injury.

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