Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

Posted on June 20, 2018

One of the most common car accident injuries sustained in an auto accident (even low-speed collisions), whiplash results from the neck moving rapidly forward and then swiftly backward, resulting in a varying degree of strain placed on the neck, shoulder, and back. So how does a skilled chiropractor like Active Life Chiropractic treat whiplash? Here are some insights.

How is whiplash diagnosed?

Before we dive into treatment, let’s cover how whiplash sustained during an auto accident, football collision, etc. is diagnosed by a chiropractic professional. To begin with, a chiropractor will evaluate the patient’s entire spine. This approach is necessary because even if the patient comes to us complaining of neck pain, other areas of the spine might be affected too. Our staff will also check for any restricted joint motion, probe the patient for tightness/tenderness in certain areas, and evaluate the patient’s posture and spinal alignment. If necessary, we’ll also order an MRI and/or an x-ray.

Chiropractic treatment for whiplash


In order to achieve the best possible results from chiropractic treatment for auto accidents, it’s important to begin reducing neck inflammation soon after whiplash occurs. Typically, a person who’s incurred auto accident injuries will visit their general practitioner first (or the emergency room), and then a chiropractor. Once in our care, we’ll employ a range of options to minimize inflammation: ultrasound, interferential electrical stimulation, gentle stretching, spinal manipulation, and ice.


Along with inflammation reduction, there are several treatments we can proceed with in order to alleviate whiplash symptoms. Though the exact treatment regimen depends on the extent of the injury, chiropractic adjustment techniques are frequently used. These techniques include:

Specific spinal manipulation: this involves restoring motion to certain areas that our Charlotte chiropractor cites as restricted or possessed of unnatural motion. Using a thrusting technique, specific spinal manipulation is done with the goal of stretching the soft tissue, stimulating the nervous system, and bringing the spine back to normal motion.

Flexion-distraction technique: similar to specific spinal manipulation, the flexion-distraction technique is gentle and hands-on. The difference is that the flexion-distraction technique is “thrust-free”, instead using a slow pumping movement that’s applied specifically to bulging or herniated discs if such symptoms are present in the patient.

Instrument-assisted manipulation: as the name implies, this type of chiropractic adjustment involves a special instrument that applies force to the spine without need for thrusting. Instrument-assisted manipulation is particularly beneficial for patients with degenerative joint syndrome.

Along with chiropractic adjustment and spinal manipulation, our experienced team may employ other manual therapies to hasten a patient’s recovery from whiplash. These therapies include:

Therapeutic massage – this type of massage is conducted to reduce muscle tension in the patient’s neck

Trigger point therapy – after identifying pain points in a muscle or muscle group, the chiropractor will use his fingers to apply direct pressure to these pain points, helping ease muscle tension

Graston technique – this technique involves using an instrument to perform repetitive strokes over an injured area, thereby helping the soft tissue to heal

For more information on our approach to chiropractic treatment for car accidents, contact us today.