What is whiplash

Whiplash is most commonly associated with rear-end car collisions in which the heads of those in the front car are suddenly snapped back and forth by the impact. It is more accurately called cervical acceleration/deceleration (CAD) trauma or syndrome, which describes the rapid movements that can injure the vertebrae of the neck and the muscles and ligaments that support them. Although the classic symptoms of whiplash (headache, dizziness, neck, shoulder, jaw and/or arm pain) may subside after a few weeks of appropriate care, it’s estimated that nearly one in four cases will become chronic, resulting in long-term discomfort and disability.

Chiropractic may offer the best opportunity for relief from the pain of whiplash, according to a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine. Ninety-three patients with chronic whiplash symptoms were divided into three groups based upon the nature and severity of their symptoms. All 93 patients received an average of 19.3 chiropractic adjustments over the study period (about four months). Results showed that two of the three groups (patients with neck pain, restricted neck range of motion and/or neurological symptoms) improved under chiropractic care, with 85.5% reporting “some benefit,” 33.5% improving by two symptom grades, and 31% being relieved of all symptoms.

What can chiropractic do?

The sudden accident that caused the whiplash in the first place may fade into memory, but the physical and psychological damage of whiplash can become chronic, eroding a victim’s quality of life. Chiropractic is particularly well-suited for relieving the neck pain and other debilitating effects of whiplash because they can:

  • restore movement lost after the accident,
  • overcome muscle weakness and enhance muscle tone,
  • speed recovery
  • diminish chronic symptoms that can persist or recur over many years.

Repeated and effective chiropractic adjustments have proved successful for many thousands of patients. Our Lake Mary chiropractors can, in many cases, significantly reduce patients’ distress and allow them to return to their normal activities.

If you have suffered from whiplash or an injury from a car accident, call our Lake Mary office today to get your injury treated right away. We proudly serve the Lake Mary, Sanford, Longwood, and Metro Orlando areas.


  • Foreman, SM, Croft AC. Whiplash injuries: The cervical acceleration/deceleration syndrome, 2nd ed., Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1995.
  • Borchgrevink GE, Kaasa A, McDonagh D, et al. Acute treatment of whiplash neck sprain injuries: A randomized trial of treatment during the first 14 days after a car accident. Spine, 1998; vol. 23, no. 1, pp25-31.
  • Squires B, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Soft-tissue injuries of the cervical spine: A 15-year follow-up. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British Edition), 1996; vol. 70B, pp955-57.
  • Lord SM, Barnsley L, Wallis BJ, Bogduk, N.. Chronic cervical zygapophysial joint pain after whiplash. Spine, 1996; vol. 21, no. 15, pp1737-45.
  • Spitzer WO, Skovron, ML, Salmi LR, et al. Redefining “whiplash” and its management. Scientific Monograph of the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-Associated Disorders, Spine, 1995; vol. 20, no. 8S, pp1S-72S.
  • Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M, et al. Asymptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment. Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine 1999: Vol. 21, No. 1, pp22-25.

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