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Q: What is Whiplash?

Posted January 07, 2015 in Advice Column, Norwalk


A: Now that the full force of winter is upon us, the roads have also taken a turn for the worse.  With that, there are inevitably more car accidents.  But how do you know if you have a whiplash injury or if you should seek medical help?

Whiplash is a generic term applied to injuries of the neck caused when the neck is suddenly and/or violently jolted in one direction and then another, creating a whip-like movement. Whiplash is most commonly seen in people involved in motor vehicle accidents, but it can also occur from falls, sports injuries, work injuries, and other incidents.

Whiplash injuries have been produced in cadaver ligament tensile tests with force less than the weight of the average head, and with a speed change of only 2.5 miles per hour.  This means that even a minor accident can cause serious health issues and all of the occupants should be evaluated.  These are the common signs and symptoms of whiplash. 

  • The symptoms often do not develop until 2 to 48 hours after the injury.
  • Pain and stiffness in the neck.  The pain and stiffness may extend down into the shoulders and arms, upper back, and even the upper chest.
  • Headache
  • Some patients also experience dizziness, difficulty swallowing, nausea, and even blurred vision.
  • Vertigo and ringing in the ears may also occur. Some patients may also feel pain in the jaw. Others will even complain of irritability, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.


Chiropractic care has been proven to be more effective at treating whiplash than using rest, INSAIDs, and muscle relaxers.  Call Norwalk Chiropractic today, 515-981-9208, to schedule your consultation if you or a loved one has been in an accident. 

Information provided by Norwalk Chiropractic, 1228 Sunset, Suite B, 981-9208,

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