Whiplash and Chiropractic

Whiplash has gone by a number of names over the years. “Cervical hyperextension/hyperflexion injury” and “Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Syndrome” (CAD) are some of the other names given to whiplash. While they are undoubtedly more descriptive in nature, they also don’t roll off of the tongue very well which is why the term “whiplash” is more commonly used. Whiplash is an injury to the neck and head that occurs when the head it rapidly moved in a direction and then “whips”  back the opposite direction. It can be forward and backward or even side to side. They are common in automobile accidents but we see them all the time from other injuries such as in sports (sledding, hockey, football, skiing, snowboarding, etc.), work accidents, and while working around house. Whiplash and its associated disorders can manifest in a number of ways and can be quite persistent if not treated properly.

Whiplash injuries can be a real pain in the neck.

People with a whiplash injury will commonly complain of pain in the neck and upper back along with having a headache. They can sometimes have pain down their arm(s), dizziness, nausea, or other complaints. The musculature, nerves, joints, and other tissues of the head and neck often sustain the brunt of the trauma from such injuries. These sprain and strain injuries tend to be very severe and require a number of interventions in order to properly heal and rehabilitate the injured areas. Treatment methods typically involve joint manipulation, soft tissue manipulation (massage, IASTM, etc.), kinesiology taping, and exercise rehabilitation. Depending on the severity of the injury, special studies such as MRIs, x-ray, and EMGs will be ordered for proper diagnosis and to ensure that a more dangerous injury such as a fracture hasn’t occurred. Rest assured that the appropriate treatment recommendations will be made in order to best care for the condition that you have. Chiropractic care is typically very effective for these sorts of injuries and your care will begin with passive treatments and transition into active treatments with you being taught how to stretch, exercise, and self-manage your complaint as you heal. We strive to get you feeling like you did before the accident.

We have worked with many people who have had whiplash injuries. If you have had an automobile accident or suffered some sort of injury that caused your head to whip back and forth (or side to side!) let one of our qualified doctors of chiropractic evaluate you. These sorts of injuries benefit from being treated sooner rather than later and delayed treatment can have a negative effect on the outcomes in some cases. If you suffer from a bad accident that occurs over the weekend, do not wait until Monday to be seen. Sometimes a visit to the emergency room or a local urgent care can help get some temporary relief and rule out any medical emergencies before you are able to get into the office. Remember, we are open from 9am to 12pm most Saturdays as well! When in doubt, have it checked out. As always, we want you getting healthy as fast as possible so that you can return to doing the things that you love to do.

Take care,


Dr. Kelly