The term whiplash refers to either a sudden unexpected back and forth movement of the neck, or an injury to some part of the neck caused by that motion.

Most commonly, whiplash injuries occur during an auto accident but can also occur with sports injuries, falls or other traumas.

Whiplash typically occurs when a person’s head is forcefully thrown backward and then forward in a quick motion. When this happens, sometimes it can injure bones in the spine, discs between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues of the neck.

Common symptoms related to whiplash may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness,
  • Headache,
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness,
  • dizziness,
  • Fatigue,
  • Jaw pain (temporomandibular joint symptoms),
  • Arm pain

Commonly you hear that whiplash injuries mainly occur from a person being involved in a car accident, but sometimes this type of injury happens from:

  • Physical abuse or assault. Whiplash may also result from incidents of being punched or shaken.
  • Contact sports. Football tackles and other sports-related collisions can sometimes cause whiplash injuries.

Strains of the neck from sudden changes in direction, for example, roller coasters, minor bicycle accidents, or slips and falls can all cause whiplash.

How Does a Chiropractor Help Treat Whiplash?

Chiropractors really focus on the whole body, not just the affected area. They view neck pain as unique to each patient. They emphasize prevention as the key to long-term health. In addition to these treatments, your chiropractor may also prescribe therapeutic in-office treatments, as well as home exercises to help restore normal motion in your spine and reduce whiplash symptoms. Whatever your particular case of whiplash might be, you can rest assured that your Dedham chiropractor has been specifically trained to handle these injuries.