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21150 W Capitol Dr.
Brookfield, WI 53072

Phone: 262-366-0665
Fax: 262-649-3226


What is Whiplash?

Whiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is injury to the neck. Whiplash is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck. In whiplash, the intervertebral joints, discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged. This type of neck injury is serious. However, it does not require being in a serious accident.

What Causes Whiplash?

Neck strain caused by an abrupt backward and/or forward jerking motion of the head, often as a result of a car accident or sports injury.

Injury Symptoms of Whiplash

Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. However, people who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury:

  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired Concentration
  • Irritability
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Fatigue

Treatment for Neck

No single treatment has been scientifically proven as effective for whiplash, but physical therapy, traction, massage, heat, ice, injections and ultrasound, all have been helpful for certain patients. In the past, whiplash injuries were often treated with immobilization in a cervical collar. However, the current trend is to encourage early movement instead of immobilization. Ice is often recommended for the first 24 hours, followed by gentle active movement.

Whiplash Statistics and Facts

  • 3 million Americans a year suffer a whiplash-causing accident.
  • Most accidents that cause whiplash occur below 12 mph.
  • Injury potential from an accident cannot be predicted by accident reconstructionists or the victim’s pre-injury psychological makeup.
  • The "minor" neck-related injuries that follow such crashes account for up to 60% of all permanent impairment claims.
  • 10% of those injured become permanently disabled.


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