Symptoms by body part:

Acromial region (Shoulder)
Acute Pain
Anterior Cervical region (Front-Neck)
Acute Pain
Anti-Brachial region (Lower-Arm)
Acute Pain
Brachial region (Upper-Arm)
Acute Pain
Cervical Paraspinal (Side of Neck)
Acute Pain
Muscle Tightness
Cervical Spine (Central-Neck)
Acute Pain
Reduction in Range of Motion
Occipital region (Base of Skull)
Headache Pain
Scapular/Interscapular region (Shoulder Blade)
Muscle Tightness

Whiplash Injuries


A motor vehicle accident can be very traumatic, but the effects of such an injury can be longer lasting than initially assumed, and symptoms may not even seem to occur for months following the initial injury.  The Second Law of Motion states that if an unbalanced force acts on a body, that body will experience acceleration ( or deceleration), that is, a change of speed. This is what causes whiplash, an event that accelerates our neck at violent speeds, injuring the upper back, lower and upper neck as the rest of our body stays somewhat motionless. At impact, our body braces itself, reducing normal range of motion. However, the force of impact, as described by Newton, flexes and extends the neck beyond its normal range, thus injuring tissue and causing acute and eventual chronic symptoms.  This is why even at speeds as low as 5mph there can be significant injury to the spine and therefore even seemingly mild motor vehicle accidents need to be taken seriously. 

Symptoms are often not experienced immediately after the injury, thus lessening the patient's initial assessment of the severity during the whiplash event. However, even before symptoms appear, there can is damage to tissues of the spine with resultant aberrant signaling occurring in brain function (symptoms begin to appear a few days after the injury, usually affecting the neck, upper back and head). Most people experience a few of these symptoms, and some experience all of them.  However, it is important to realize that even in the absence of outright symptoms there can be a change in brain function.

Some Common Symptoms:
1) Tension headaches
2) Pain at the base of the skull
3) Neck pain or soreness
4) Upper back pain
5) Pain in the shoulder blade regions
6) Chest pain (due to seat belt straining anterior rib joints)
7) Lower back and hip pain
8) Dizziness/Vertigo
9) Loss of normal range of motion, or stiffness

The best course of treatment is through Chiropactic Neurology care and Therapeutic Physical Rehabilitation. Reducing inflammation is key to long term success. The vertebrae of the spine must regain proper biomechanics (motion), thus reducing inflammation and the potential for future osteoarthritis. Strengthening of the larger muscle groups is necessary, but even more important is the retraining and strengthening of the spinal stabilizers that are most damaged during any whiplash event.  In addition, normal range of motion and signaling from the spine is vital to appropriate function of the vestibular and ocular systems which affect overall brain function.

If you experience a motor vehicle accident make sure you follow these steps:

1) Ice as quickly as possible for 10-15 min/hr, 3-4 times per day if possible
2) If it is recommended by medical professionals on scene, please get an x-ray.
3) Call your Chiropractic Neurologist and begin treatment as soon as possible to create best