Whiplash: A Form Of Chronic Pain

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a type of injury which takes place in the neck. It is the result of severe stretching in the spine. This often takes place due to a sudden and irregular back and forth movement in the neck. Other names for whiplash include neck strain, cervical sprain or pain from hyperextension.

This soft tissue injury is often characterized by swelling, pain from sudden movement and stiffness. Psychological issues which may occur include depression or memory loss. Such damage needs proper attention and possible pain treatment at a pain rehab center.

Whiplash can occur immediately after an incident or take place a few days later. The pain from this injury typically goes away after a week to two months. In rare cases, people will experience these symptoms long after the accident is over. Pain treatment facilities treat numerous types of pain, including spinal and neck pain as well as fibromyalgia.

Who Suffers From Whiplash?

Anyone can experience the pain brought about by whiplash. This injury often occurs as the result of a sudden car accident or extreme exercising. Typically in car accidents where whiplash occurs, the person was hit from behind. Other factors which may cause whiplash include abuse, assault, or accidental slips and injuries.

Symptoms of Whiplash

Common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Soreness
  • Burning sensations (paresthesias)
  • Back pain
  • Unexplained anger
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Spinal complications
  • Heavy feeling in the arms
  • Ligament injury
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Muscle spasms
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Feelings of nervousness

Treatment for Whiplash

This strain injury is very difficult to treat. A doctor’s main priority is to keep the sufferer feeling comfortable and encourage them to stay away from any activities that may worsen this condition. Pain treatment centers have specialized doctors and staff who all work together in order to provide the best overall recovery for someone with pain such as whiplash.

There are a variety of ways this type of injury can be treated. These include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Spinal therapy
  • Pain medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Spine injections
  • Applying heat or cold
  • Epidural injections
  • Specialized exercises
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Cervical collar
  • Facet injections
  • Radiofrequency neurotomy
  • Opioid medications
  • Surgery


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.