Do You Have a Whiplash Injury?

The Usual Culprit:

Whiplash typically occurs in a car accident where you are hit from behind. The neck is then thrust back like the end of a whip, hence the name. In doing so the ligaments and muscles of the neck are stretched and injured, and the information that tells your brain where your head is in space is distorted. This leads to muscle fatigue, tension and joint irritation. Whiplash can present over 48hrs after an incident, and if not treated properly can lead to symptoms that last for decades.

Other Possible Causes:

  • Any accident where the head is impacted with the ground.
  • Tackles in sport especially if unanticipated.
  • High velocity neck movements.


  • Pain/ pins and needles/ numbness referring into the shoulder blades/ arm/ forearm/ hand and even headaches.
  • Symptoms can last for 4-6 weeks if treated properly or can lead to ongoing issues for literally decades after an incident.

How Physical Therapy Can Help:

  • Treatment, initially, consists of gentle movement, heat/ice, anti-inflammatories and relative rest.
  • Stretches and isometric exercises (ask your physical therapist at RPI Therapy Services) will be added later by your physical therapist.
  • Until the muscles are working efficiently again, the neck will be susceptible to irritation and pain.
  • You should never wear a brace unless directed by a surgeon! This weakens the muscles of the neck.

At RPI Therapy Services, we have the experience, knowledge and skills to relieve all symptoms related to a whiplash injury. If you suspect you have a Whiplash injury, give us a call: Richmond Heights Office (314) 252-0924 or Creve Coeur office (314) 227-9641 to book an appointment now! Remember that you do need a Physician script to access Physical Therapy services.