What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is defined medically as “A sudden, moderate-severe strain affecting the bones, discs, muscles, nerves, or tendons of the neck”… The injury to the joints in the spine is caused by the spine rapidly moving forwards and backwards too fast for the muscles to protect the joints from injury.

Is it always from a car accident?

No, whiplash is any fast, forward & backwards motion that is over 7mph. This could be from a wide variety of causes.

I had a car accident but I felt pain a week later could it still be whiplash?

The symptoms of whiplash can occur at the time, however, in many cases they tend to appear days later.
This can be due to shock but also because when the body develops an injury it can take time to assess the damage and show pain. It could also lie dormant until activity that is part of your daily life provokes it.
Patients frequently do not make the connection between the problems they have suffered with for months or even years and the injury that caused the problem.

Does whiplash only give neck pain?

No, whiplash can also lead to upper back pain, shoulder pain, arm or hand pain. There can also be symptoms that are not painful such as pins and needles or tingling in the arms. There is also a link to dizziness, and blurred vision.

How do I know if it’s my neck causing the pain?

There are a couple of simple questions you can answer such as: Do you find it difficult to look over your shoulder? Do you feel tension and pain in your neck at different times of the day?

How can chiropractic help me?

As Chiropractors are trained in diagnosing and treating whiplash we would recommend you let us find the cause as an alternative to just taking painkillers.

To help find that cause we offer:

  • A Private Consultation with the Doctor of Chiropractic
  • A Thorough Examination including Neurological, Orthopaedic & Blood Pressure Tests
  • X-Rays, if necessary
  • A Verbal Report of our Findings and thorough Explanation of the X-Rays

After which you should know more about your body and the problems you are experiencing than you ever have before. Whether you go ahead with treatment, as always, is entirely your decision.


Hurwitz EL, Carragee EJ, Velde G, Carroll LJ, Nordin M, Guzman J, et al.: Treatment of neck pain: noninvasive interventions: results of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated DisordersJ Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009, 32:S141-S175.