Suffering from Whiplash

Car accidents (from speeds as low as 15 miles per hours) are the most predominate cause of whiplash affecting a reported 3 million Americans alone each year.  Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that affects and damages the intervertebral joints (located between vertebrae), neck ligaments, discs, nerve roots, and cervical muscles.  Whiplash is associated with neck pain and may also be referred to as a strain or sprain in the neck that may affect all areas of the neck ranging from the bottom of the head to the top of the shoulders. In turn, whiplash may also affect your upper back and arms as the pain worsens.

Common Causes and Symptoms

Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash though sports injuries, assault situations, falling, continuous strain on the neck and recreational activities such as amusement park rides.  Whiplash symptoms include (but are not limited to) neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain and between the shoulders, dizziness, ringing in ears, blurred vision, difficulty concentration, memory problems, irritability, sleep disturbances and fatigue.

Symptoms usually occur within the first 48 hours after injury and if proper care isn’t immediately begun, a lifetime of symptoms can occur.  Whiplash not only affects us physically, but every aspect of our life.  Chronic neck pain from whiplash can change relationships with our spouse, children and friends.  Productivity at home and work can be affected as well. Household duties such as laundry, playing with our kids, cooking, cleaning, and yard maintenance can become a nuisance.  Prolonged suffering affects us emotionally, often times leading to self-esteem issues and depression.


Common treatments for whiplash include taking x-rays to identify the problem, a series of tests to identify the severity of whiplash, spinal cord evaluation, and they will also look for any other type of external signs of trauma including bruises, cuts and scrapes.

Conventional treatments of whiplash focus on pain management and physical therapy.  These treatments include (but are not limited to) over the counter and prescription pain killers including acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).  Often these are prescribed with codeine but these drugs often cause drowsiness and are limited to bedtime intake.  Corticosteroid injections or lidocaine (a numbing medicine) into painful muscle for temporary relief of muscle pain and spasms. Additionally the medical research showing us that chronic use of pain medications and injections can cause cancer, kidney or liver damage.

Physical therapy often includes muscle stretching and range of motion exercises.  These treatment methods will temporarily alleviate symptoms, but often does not address the underlying cause of pain and biomechanical dysfunction that comes with whiplash limiting complete healing. A program of conservative chiropractic care is recommended before a more invasive approach is considered.

Our Chiropractic Treatment

The 22 Health approach does not cover up the symptoms associated with whiplash, but actually finds and treats damaged areas for complete healing that lasts a lifetime.  Most often this includes x-rays of your spine to check for spinal subluxations and diminished nerve supply.  If nerve supply is diminished at all it must be restored so the body can heal at 100%.  Along with proper chiropractic adjustments, a program of rehabilitation is prescribed to maximize soft tissue healing.  Other aspects include 22 Health Workshops to teach you how to fuel your body and move your body back towards health during your recovery.  22 Health Workshops minimize the chance of an exacerbation and recurrence of neck pain allowing you to obtain great health.

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