Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident however the injury can also result from a sports accident or other trauma.
Common signs and symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Most people with whiplash recover within several months after a course of physical medicine, over-the-counter pain medication and exercise. Some people experience chronic neck pain and other ongoing complications.
Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.
Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually start to develop within 24 hours of the injury but may develop over several weeks and may include:
Some people also experience:
The goals of treatment are to control pain, restore normal range of motion in your neck, and return you to normal activities. The course of treatment will vary depending on the severity of your whiplash injury. For some people, over-the-counter pain medication and at-home care may be sufficient. Other people may need prescription drugs. However, for most, physical medicine is a key component in the recovery process.
Our doctors are well trained to treat a variety of musculoskeletal injuries and have received post-graduate training in diagnosing and treating whiplash associated disorders (WAD) from the Spine Research Institute of San Diego. If you have recently been involved a in a motor vehicle crash or have ongoing symptoms from one in the past we will be happy to develop a plan to return you to pre-injury status. Call our office and let our experienced doctors help you with a personalized approach to your recovery.
Additional study showing the beneficial effects of chiropractic care on chronic whiplash injuries:
Injury. 1996 Nov;27(9):643-5.
Chiropractic treatment of chronic 'whiplash' injuries.
Woodward MN1, Cook JC, Gargan MF, Bannister GC.
Forty-three per cent of patients will suffer long-term symptoms following 'whiplash' injury, for which no conventional treatment has proven to be effective. A retrospective study was undertaken to determine the effects of chiropractic in a group of 28 patients who had been referred with chronic 'whiplash' syndrome. The severity of patients' symptoms was assessed before and after treatment using the Gargan and Bannister (1990) classification. Twenty-six (93 per cent) patients improved following chiropractic treatment (U = 34, P < 0.001). The encouraging results from this retrospective study merit the instigation of a prospective randomized controlled trial to compare conventional with chiropractic treatment in chronic 'whiplash' injury.