What is Whiplash?

Whiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is an injury to the neck. Whiplash is a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck. In whiplash, the intervertebral joints (located between neck bones), discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged.

What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash On The BrainWhiplash is caused by an abrupt backward and/or forward jerking motion of the head, often as a result of a car accident.

Your symptoms following an accident may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. Some people who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • Low back pain
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue

Correctly Diagnosing Whiplash

In most cases, injuries are to the soft tissues such as the discs, muscles and ligaments, and cannot be seen on standard X-rays. Specialized imaging tests, such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be required to diagnose whiplash.


Even if you are not in pain following an accident, it is important to receive prompt attention to your injury, as the structural balance of your neck and spine is important to your health. We can assist in the assessment of your injury and your recovery by correctly adjusting your neck and/or spine so it has the correct position to heal. In addition, we can recommend physical therapy, non-surgical spinal decompression,  stretching and strengthening exercises, and natural anti-inflammatories to put you back on the road to good health.