Whiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is injury to the spine and surrounding soft tissue (i.e. discs, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots). Whiplash is a relatively common injury that occurs to a person’s neck following a sudden acceleration-deceleration force that causes unrestrained, rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck, most commonly from motor vehicle accidents. The term “whiplash” was first used in 1928. The term “railway spine” was used to describe a similar condition that was common in persons involved in train accidents prior to 1928.

A concussion (i.e. Coup Countercoup Injury) is the term used to describe a set of symptoms after a brain injury has occurred. It is not uncommon to experience a concussion after a whiplash injury. Please see the concussion tab for more information.


Fortunately, whiplash is typically not a life-threatening injury, but it can lead to a prolonged period of partial disability. If you’ve ever been in a motor vehicle accident and experienced neck pain, you might have had a cervical collar placed around your neck before being transported to the nearest hospital. There, an X-ray, CT or MRI was most likely taken to rule out fractures and bleeds in the brain. If nothing was found, you were likely discharged with some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories. This, however, should Never be the extent of care given to this injury. If not taken care of properly, prolonged pain and decreased range of motion can settle in as well as early degenerative changes.

Pain killers can cause temporary relief from pain and discomfort, but it is not a long-term solution. Chiropractic Adjustments can alleviate pain by releasing pressure on the nervous system with proper alignment. It can also restore proper joint movement, helping to ensure that you use proper motion, so that you do not cause injury to other parts of your body. It is important to treat the body as a whole and not get too focused on just one symptom as well. As mentioned earlier, secondary symptoms are often the case with this condition. Nutrition can play a huge part in counteracting the inflammatory nature of this ailment. Please ask us about Natural Anti-Inflammatories that pose no harm with long-term use.