Whiplash Defined – What You Need To Know

Whiplash Defined - What You Need To Know

Whiplash Defined - What You Need To Know





What Is Whiplash

Whiplash is a non-medical term that many use to describe an assortment of injuries to the neck caused by a sudden rapid hyperextension. Medicinenet.com defines whiplash as follows:

Whiplash injury: A hyperextension and flexion injury to the neck, often a result of being struck from behind, as by a fast-moving vehicle in a car accident. The mechanics of whiplash injury are thought to be as follows: The victim may be first pushed or accelerated forward, pushing the body forward, but the head remains behind momentarily, rocking up and back, and some muscles and ligaments in and around the spine may be stretched or torn. These muscles, in a reflex action, contract to bring the head forward again, to prevent excessive injury. There may be overcompensation when the head is traveling in a forward direction as the vehicle decelerates. This may rock the head violently forward, stretching and tearing more muscles and ligaments.

Whiplash Symptoms

Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. Due to this it is advised that you be examined as soon as possible after any injury that may have caused whiplash.

Symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Upper back pain
  • Decreased mobility
  • Soreness between the shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • Low back pain
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears or blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue

Many times other whiplash symptoms are present after whiplash injury such as: nausea, tingling, jaw pain, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, changes in vision, balance problems, swelling, bruising, soreness, tenderness, tightness, light-headedness, wrist pain/numbness, sciatica (leg pain), fatigue, concussion, hormone disorders, menstrual disorder, occipital neuralgia, sore throat, loss of voice, weakness, feeling depressed, and anxiety.

For a detailed description of common whiplash symptoms visit 4 Common Symptoms Of Whiplash And Their Treatments 


Chiropractic spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments are an important part of the treatment and the recovery process when healing from any injuries. Research has shown chiropractic to be one of the most effective treatments for whiplash pain and injury available today.

Chiropractic care involves the chiropractor using his/her hands to adjust and treat misalignments in the spine also known as subluxations. Spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments can in many cases fix the subluxation relieving pain in the soft tissues, increasing circulation, and stimulating the body’s nervous system.

Chiropractors often incorporate physical therapy techniques and exercises into whiplash patient’s treatment plans to maintain pain relief and strengthen the neck. In some cases you may even be given exercises to perform at home to help with pain relief and strengthening in between office visits.

Think you may be suffering from whiplash? Call (615)503-9900 to set up an exam today.

Photo by D Petzold Photography

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