Chiropractor Questions Whiplash

I have severe whiplash from work. What is the treatment?

I pick up a lot of heavy objects at work, and after a slight incident last week--I won't go into too many details--I experienced severe whiplash in my neck and now I have to get treated. My doctor is referring me to a chiropractor because he feels that's best. What is the treatment like for whiplash through a chiropractor?

18 Answers

Chiropractic treatments and other related treatments at the chiropractic office.
Chiropractic adjustments will work to stimulate healing in the areas of injury. They may have other modalities to help recovery such as electrical muscle stimulation, massage work, and exercises.
I am not a Chiropractor, so cannot speak to that. I can say that Osteopathic treatment addresses not only the muscular and bony dysfunctions of the spine, but also treats the deeper strains that extend into the dura, which are the thick membranes around the spinal cord and brain extending from the tailbone to the skull. Whiplash injuries often stretch the dura and is why they are often so slow to respond to other treatments.
The idea is to try to undue the traumatic damage that took place. It’s very important to be treated sooner rather than later to avoid scare tissue. It’s like if you broke a bone in your body, but didn’t get the fracture reset, it would heal in a distorted fashion.
Depending on the severity of your pain at the time of treatment, a chiropractor will X-ray, assess, do myofascial release and adjustments to correct any misalignments. In my office we add cupping, cold laser, heat or ice, traction, electrical stimulation, exercise and physical therapy. These treatments are all patient and condition dependent. Chiropractic care is typically very highly favored by the patient.
Typically spinal adjustment, tractions, exercise and lifestyle modifications are what you'll need
Generally, the chiropractor will do an examination to determine an accurate diagnosis and find the areas of the spine that are not moving correctly due to misalignment or muscle tension. After orthopedic and neurologic examination have been performed, X-rays may be necessary. A treatment protocol would then be made and therapy such as stretching, mobilization, and spinal manipulation may be performed to correct the issues.
I hope this helps.

Take care and be well,

Dr. Eric Miller
Whiplash is a sprain and/or strain of your neck. The most appropriate treatment for this condition would be Chiropractic manipulation with physical therapy at the same time.
Most likely he will employ one or more of several treatment options including but limited to manipulation, stretching, heat, electric stimulation, ultrasound, low level laser.
You need to get chiropractic care immediately. Start out with 10-20 visits of gentle manipulation and rehab on the neck, shoulders, and back.
A Chiropractor will utilise adjustments to align the neck and upper back, and may also use soft tissue therapy to relax the proper muscles of the neck and upper back.

I'm sorry you are having this problem. Often, whiplash is under-treated, or not treated at all, as the medical doctors and patient wait for it to get better "by itself." This leads to future problems. Often, the spine will straighten after this injury, and if it heals this way, your body's energy is used to hold you in an abnormal position, instead of letting you have fun and stay healthy. The joints are over-stressed, so they wear out with arthritic spurring, which is permanent. You are making a good choice by seeing a chiropractor. A chiropractor will examine you, and make sure that the injuries heal properly, not just getting rid of pain. There are a variety of techniques to help improve the structure and help the spine heal in the proper position with good mobility. These "adjustments" are usually not painful, and even feel good. Physiotherapy may be used, like massage, traction, ultrasound, or other therapies, and most chiropractors will include rehab exercises to get the best results.
Good luck!


Dr. Steven Moon
After an examination and possible diagnostic imaging - chiropractic treatment of whiplash usually includes chiropractic adjustments to the neck and upper back, physiotherapies to the injured areas to decrease inflammation and boost circulation, and eventually exercises are prescribed to increase strength and stability.
I am sorry to hear about the whiplash incident. Treatment at the chiropractor will consist of spinal adjustments to realign the spinal bones and initiate better and more complete healing. Generally, the treatments are not painful and the doctor will start with light work and progress to more hands-on work as time progresses.

The treatment should consist of soft tissue work initially like massage, myofascial release, and neck mobilization. Because whiplash involves ligament and muscle injuries, chiropractors will treat with passive and active physical therapy as well as rehab. The goal is to start lightly and increase treatment intensity as you improve.

Vishal K. Verma, DC, CCSP
Depending on the severity of the whiplash, you will get the treatment which could include adjustment, physiotherapy, exercise.
Whiplash is not a condition but rather the way an injury can occur. Whiplash related injuries will vary from case to case depending on severity and the examination findings. There is no "one size fits all" treatment but do expect your doctor to fully examine you and in the following visits they may adjust the joints that are found to be problematic and may use therapies such as ice/heat, massage, electrical muscle stimulation, decompression, etc.
Full examination, x-rays and soft spinal manipulation and maybe physical therapy