Whiplash: Healing a Pain in the Neck, Arthritis

Whiplash: Healing a Pain in the Neck, Arthritis

IN THIS ISSUE: *Whiplash: Healing a Pain in the Neck * Managing Arthritis * Here Comes the Sun

Whiplash: Healing a Pain in the Neck – by Hope Bentley

Getting rear-ended in traffic. Face-planting at the bottom of a ski slope. Tumbling over the handlebars on your bike. Whiplash comes in many forms and can become a long-term problem if not treated correctly. Fortunately, massage and bodywork can address the ache and discomfort that come with whiplash and prevent chronic pain down the road.



The term “whiplash” came into use in 1928. Doctors will sometimes use “hyperextension injury,” to describe it, but “whiplash” is a more visceral account of what has happened to the victim’s neck. The neck itself has made a whip-like motion bending first towards and then away from the point of impact. As the head moves rapidly in one direction, the muscles in the neck receive the message to contract. The momentum of the head can cause strain or sprain to the muscles and ligaments in the neck as the head reaches the end of its movement.

Car accidents are the most common causes of whiplash. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reported that about 20 percent of people who have been in rear-end collisions later report whiplash symptoms. Whether front to back or side to side, whiplash can affect muscles all the way into the victim’s back and arms. The most serious form of whiplash compresses nerves in the neck and cause multiple sprains of the ligaments.

The good news is, serious hyperextension injuries are in the minority, as whiplash usually comes in the less serious version of the injury. “Fortunately, about 95 percent of the time whiplash tends to be more…Click here for complete newsletter: Spring 2008-tax