Whiplash or Cervical Acceleration-Deceleration covers a broad range of injuries to the neck and spine associated with a reactive rebound movement to hyper-flexion or neutral position causing the spine to hyperextend and compress with force rapidly. Whiplash does not include bone injury and is only used to describe damage to soft tissue in that area of the body.

These injuries often occur during motor vehicle accidents, however whiplash injuries are commonly found in certain sports and/or activities such as head banging or bungee-jumping.


When the spine is hyperextended with force, ligaments can tear or strain causing damage to the anterior longitudinal ligament. The thoracic spine is often compressed with the same measure of force. Symptoms can be felt immediately or in the time following the initial trauma and can vary greatly in severity.

  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Soreness
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Tingling
  • Loss of Sensation
  • Swelling
  • Blurred Vision
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Distractedness
  • Irritability
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Reduced Range of Motion
  • Loss of Reflex Ability



Seeking medical attention at the first sign of potential injury is critical in managing potential lifelong damage and effects of the trauma. Early medical intervention can reduce pain intensity and limit disability for whiplash injury (Schnabel M 2004).

  • X-Ray Imaging
  • Computerized Tomography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Acupuncture
  • Cervical Traction Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Spinal Manipulation
  • Corrective Sensorimotor Activities
  • Massage Therapy
  • Ergonomic and Lifestyle Counseling
  • Mechanical Support
  • Pharmaceutical Intervention
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
  • Physical Therapy
  • Change in Diet or Exercise
  • Ice and Heat Therapy
  • Steroid Treatment
  • Muscle Strengthening
  • Surgical Intervention


While whiplash is a common injury, the effects of whiplash are not always in common with other whiplash sufferers. Each person’s symptoms will vary in severity and frequency even when more than one person suffered whiplash in the same incident.

Addressing concerns with a qualified medical professional as soon as possible may have significant impact on your recovery and rehabilitation time.




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