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How to Treat Whiplash

Man with headache on bedWhiplash treatments revolve around relieving pain and helping restore your neck’s normal range of motion. A return to your everyday activities is our goal, but it’s important to take it slow to allow the neck to heal properly.

Acute, short-term neck pain requires a proper diagnosis.

Stages of Treatment

To assess the severity of the injury, a full diagnosis is recommended. Treatment can follow many courses, depending on the injury, pain and when the injury occurred. Immediately after the injury, acute pain will set in and will require treatments that focus on limiting inflammation.

Chiropractic adjustments and stretching may be recommended. The initial treatments are important to limit the loss of range of motion and help you return to your daily life.

Traditional therapy may require ice packs applied to the neck along with neck support to allow the muscles and ligaments to heal. Neck support is required for a short period of time. Gentle adjustments of the neck often follows once the pain decreases and inflammation starts to subside.

Multiple treatment options may be used to provide relief.

Treatment Options for Whiplash

The severity of your whiplash will dictate the treatment options available. Spinal manipulation is the most common technique used and can include:


A hands-on technique that offers non-thrusting manipulation that targets the discs in the neck. If you have herniated or bulging discs in the neck, whiplash can aggravate the injury. Through slow pumps rather than direct force, it’s possible for the chiropractor work on the neck without direct force on the spine.


A form of non-thrusting treatment using a handheld device that applies force to the spine. Gentle adjustments can be used over the injured area to reduce tension, alleviate soreness and treat the soft tissue injuries that whiplash causes.

Specific adjustments techniques may be used once we’re able to identify the joints that need to be worked on. Joints that have abnormal or restricted motion may require specific adjustments. When focusing on certain joints, motion is restored with gentle thrusting and stretching.

Manual therapy may also be required to treat the muscles and ligaments in the neck. A few of the many techniques that may be used during manual therapy are:

  • Instrument-assisted therapy
  • Manual resistance and joint stretching
  • Massage
  • Trigger point therapy

Inflammation in the neck must be alleviated, so additional treatment options may be recommended. Adjustments can speed up the recovery process, and additional exercises may be recommended that you can do at home.

Therapeutic exercises may be recommended to help you get back to your daily activities. Whiplash takes time to heal. Going right back to your daily activities is not recommended. In most cases, a person can start returning back to their daily activities slowly.

If you’re suffering from whiplash, it’s important to seek treatment from a Chiropractor to stop the pain and restore range of motion as soon as possible. Treatment can be tailored to your needs to prevent further pain and injury to the neck. If you have suffered from a whiplash injury, make sure you reach out to us today.

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