Whiplash is an acceleration-deceleration movement of the neck beyond normal range of motion that can result in neck pain as well as upper, mid, and low back pain. Pain often extends into the shoulders. Whiplash is often the result of a motor vehicle accident but can also occur with contact sports as well as falls. These events cause extra stress on muscles, tendons, vertebral joints, and ligaments.


• Neck pain

• Limited neck range of motion

• Headaches

• Dizziness

• Numbness and tingling into the hands due to spinal disc and/or nerve injuries

• Weakness

• Tender neck muscles

• Postural changes

• Sensation changes

• People often experience a 24-48-hour delay in onset of symptoms. It is important to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you have symptoms as up to 50% of people who sustain whiplash injuries report chronic pain.


Your physical therapist can help restore your range of motion and control your pain using manual techniques such as joint mobilizations, stretching, and soft tissue mobilization as well as modalities including electrical stimulation and cold laser. Depending on your presentation, your PT may recommend dry needling to help with pain control. Exercises determined by your PT will help improve muscle activation, correct postural changes, and strengthen your muscles to help you return to your prior level of function. Your PT will provide you with a home exercise program to ensure quickest rehabilitation possible.

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