Whiplash is a common term used to describe a sprain or strain of the neck. Structures involved may include neck muscles, ligaments, or the individual joints of the neck. Whiplash generally occurs with an abrupt change of direction of the body effectively “whipping” the neck due to the body’s momentum.


Symptoms of whiplash are commonly delayed directly after initial trauma. However, within the first few days after the injury patients may experience neck pain and stiffness, headaches, pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades, sleep disturbances, and or fatigue.

What to expect from physical therapy 

With any high-velocity traumatic neck injury, a thorough cervical evaluation should be done to screen for more severe complications such as a cervical fracture. Once a whiplash injury has been confirmed, physical therapy will focus on controlling pain, reducing headaches, and restoring motion and mobility to the cervical spine. Your therapist will also assess posture and functional mobility to prevent future onset of symptoms which may include instructing in a home exercise program.

Learn more about how HealthReach therapists can help

Schedule your initial consultation today by calling us at 1-262-780-0707.

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Visit our resource center for videos and more information on occupational, physical and speech therapy.

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KidReach pediatric therapy specialists, Milwaukee, Brookfield, Hales Corners, Wisconsin