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What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a condition of the neck which occurs from a forceful movement of the body allowing the head and neck to essentially get whipped as it tries to stay with the body. This traumatic action damages the soft connective tissues of the neck producing tearing of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles called sprains and or strains. This damage produces a number of secondary effects within the neck. It often changes the posture of the neck producing a militarization of the cervical spine. In regions where the neck has been damaged, it produces mechanical fixations of the cervical joints causing aberrant movement. It often changes the carrying angle of the head in relation to the body causing Anterior Gravitational Syndrome where the head is carried too far in front of the body.

Any and all of these conditions may persist after a whiplash injury causing a myriad of symptoms called post traumatic whiplash syndrome or chronic whiplash.; some of the most common of these symptoms include but are not limited to: recurring headaches, neck pains, shoulder pains, arm pains, hand pains or numbness, upper back pains, and visual disturbance.

Dangers of Whiplash

After a whiplash-like injury, some individuals do nothing, not realizing the damage to their necks and potential future problems. Some will go to the emergency room where x-rays are taken, and since no fractures are found, are released and told to take painkillers or muscle relaxers and they’ll be OK. Some will go to their MD family practitioner who will tell them about the same thing as the ER Doctors. However, none of these doctors are trained to recognize bio-mechanical pathology of the spine or understand the critical need for functional rehabilitation after whiplash. Therefore the majority of whiplash injuries will not be treated properly. This injury requires the training and skills of a chiropractor who is specifically trained to diagnose and treat such problems.

A recent study in the “Journal of Orthopedic Medicine” -1, stated that Chiropractic was the “only proven effective treatment” for chronic whiplash. This respected medical journal began by saying, “Conventional treatment of patients with whiplash symptoms is disappointing. A retrospective study by Woodward et al., demonstrated that chiropractic treatment benefited 26 or 28 patients (93%) suffering from chronic whiplash syndrome. Our results confirm the efficacy of chiropractic, with 69 of our 93 patents (74%) improving following treatment.” -2 “The results from this study provided further evidence that chiropractic is an effective treatment for chronic whiplash symptoms...”


1. Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M, Bannister G. Asymptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment. Journal of

Orthopaedic Medicine 1999;21(1):22-25.

2. Woodward MN, Cook JCH, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Chiropractic Treatment of chronic whiplash injuries. Injury 1996;27:643-645.

At Active Health Chiropractic ,We have the solution to more than just your back. With professional, on-hand dietitians, health coaches, massage therapist, our Chiropractic physicians can focus on your overall health and wellness that will allow you to run FASTER, jump HIGHER, recover QUICKER, and will ultimately achieve your greatest wellness goals. At Active Health Chiropractic... We have MORE than just your back!

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