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How Chiropractors Can Help With Whiplash

Motor vehicle accidents and the injuries they cause are an unfortunate reality. Oftentimes the resulting symptoms can cause someone to have chronic pain years after the accident when not properly treated afterwards. Besides the obvious long lasting pain, they also suffer psychologically and financially as a result. While whiplash victims will often be prescribed muscle relaxers and pain medication, this does not help the area heal correctly. It merely masks the pain and problem for a short period of time. Not doing the proper rehabilitation to ensure the area heals correctly is why people end up with chronic pain lasting several years, or even forever.

What is whiplash?

Neck and shoulder pain are common after a car accident

Neck and shoulder pain is common after a car accident

Whiplash is typically an injury to the neck that is unlike most other cervical sprains or strains. During a brief moment in a car accident the neck goes in to an abnormal S curvature. This S curve can cause ligament tears throughout several different areas of the neck. The tear to ligaments and musculature in the neck cause inflammation, muscle spasm, and joint instability. All of these cause a variety of different symptoms and problems.

Common symptoms associated with whiplash include headaches, tingling in the arms, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, jaw pain,and of course neck stiffness. In more severe accidents it can also be common to experience pain in the mid and lower back.

Quick Facts:

  • 29% of people developed symptoms related to whiplash at speeds of just 2.5 mph
  • a 10 mph rear end collision can produce up to 9 G’s of force in the neck
  • 45% of people with chronic neck pain attribute their pain to a prior car accident
  • whiplash often occurs at speeds of just 5-10 mph

The Phases of Healing after an Injury

There are typically three phases of healing after an injury such as with a motor vehicle accident. It’s important to administer specific treatment aspects during these phases to ensure proper healing and decreased long lasting pain.

Acute Phase

Immediately after an accident it’s important to decrease inflammation and acute pain. This is done with ice, therapeutic ultrasound, electrotherapy, soft tissue therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and kinesiotape.

Repair Phase

72 hours up to a couple months after the initial injury. Your body begins to lay down scar tissue in the area of the injury. During this phase it’s important to administer proper stress and mobility to the injured areas to ensure scar tissue does not form irregularly which can cause chronic pain and lack of mobility in the future. Chiropractic manipulation is also important to ensure proper movement of joints that does not get interrupted by scar tissue formation.

Remodeling Phase

During this phase scar tissue finishes its formation. It’s important to be administering the proper rehabilitation exercises and treatment during this time to ensure long lasting relief of symptoms, strength, and full range of motion.

How does BodyBalance help?


Kinesio Tape for shoulder and neck pain

We administer a variety of techniques at different times throughout the treatment phases. Here is a list of common treatments we use for motor vehicle accidents:


If you or anyone you know have any questions about a recent car accident, please contact our office at 307-514-5964.

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