What Is a Whiplash Injury and How to Treat It?

July 22, 2020

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What Is A Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to a person’s neck. It occurs when a person is suddenly hit with a force strong enough to make his head and neck move back-and-forth rapidly. This movement is similar to a whip cracking, thus the term “whiplash”.

The muscles of the back and shoulders can also be damaged along a whiplash injury. The abrupt shaking of the head involves the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that connect the base of the skull with the thoracic region.

The severity of whiplash injury vary according to the resistance of each person's body. It can cause pain in the upper cervical region which results in dizziness and nausea. The person affected may also experience pain or loss of range of movement in the neck and numbness in the arms.

If not treated immediately, whiplash might cause blurred vision, difficulty in concentrating or remembering, and depression. That’s why regardless if whiplash is a minor injury, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.

What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash usually occurs in car accidents. The sudden collision at the rear of your car would cause your head to be quickly thrown backward and forward. Sports, especially ones where you get tackled, can also cause whiplash. Whiplash can also occur in people who experienced physical abuse or assault such as in the cases of shaken baby syndrome.
When and how whiplash injuries may occur. Soft tissue damage provoked from accident.

How To Treat Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash doesn’t necessarily need surgery, but it needs treatments to heal faster and prevent further damage.

Since the severity of whiplash varies, you need to see your physicians for a proper diagnosis. They may ask you to undergo X-ray tests or MRIs to help with the diagnosis. This way, they can provide you with a customized treatment plan. Here are some of the most common treatments for whiplash:

Cold Therapy

Cold therapy works by applying ice packs on the affected areas. The cold would temporarily decrease blood flow to the injury which greatly helps reduce inflammation.


If cold therapy reduces blood flow to the affected area, ultrasound does the opposite. The vibration from the ultrasound produces a mild heat which relaxes the muscles and increases blood flow. This helps in speeding up the healing process.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is best for relieving the chronic pain caused by whiplash. It also promotes relaxation in the muscles and the psyche of the client.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation uses mild electrical pulses to increase blood flow to the area and reduce pain. The continuous contraction caused by electrical stimulation helps repair damaged muscles and at the same time, increase range of motion.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is known to promote natural healing and lessen the dependence on medications. Through the controlled movements done by licensed chiropractors, tight muscles will be relieved and your mobility will increase.

If you are currently suffering from whiplash, don’t wait for it to worsen. Come and see our physicians immediately so we can create a treatment plan just for you. Schedule an appointment by calling us at (813) 392-2164 or by filling in our online form

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