What Are The Short And Long-Term Complications Of Whiplash?

Posted on: 19 April, 2017

Were you recently in a car accident and find yourself suffering from whiplash symptoms? If so, then consider seeing an auto accident chiropractor in San Jose. Continue reading to learn about the short and long-term complications that are associated with whiplash.


Following your injury, it’s common to experience restricted motion and acute pain, and one of the primary problems that you will be facing is inflammation. The back and forth movements that result in whiplash can cause traumatic muscle injury that leads to inflammation at the site. At this stage, your chiropractor will focus on reducing inflammation using therapies like gentle stretching, massage, ice, and ultrasound.

Restricted Motion

In the first 24 hours following a whiplash injury, it’s common for people to experience restricted motion, particularly in the neck. This can be caused by the inflammation associated with a traumatic muscle injury and a locking up of the spinal joints. Seeing an auto accident chiropractor sooner rather than later may help restore lost range of motion or prevent it from worsening.

Spinal Misalignment

If your whiplash injury also affected the alignment of your spine, then your chiropractor will wait until your neck is less inflamed before using spinal manipulation to restore the motion of spinal joints that have become restricted because of your injury. For some patients, flexion-distraction techniques will be more appropriate than spinal manipulation for restoring joint motion.

Chronic Pain

While most people recover from whiplash within a few months, others continue to experience symptoms long-term. These outcomes are not easy to predict, but chronic pain that lasts for months or years after the initial injury can be more likely in cases where the individual experiences a sudden onset of headaches, severe neck pain, and pain that radiates into the arms. To help address soft tissue injuries that may have been sustained during the accident and lead to long-term symptoms, chiropractors might use manual joint stretching techniques, trigger point therapy, therapeutic massage, and instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy.

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