Whiplash – what is it & how do you get it?


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Ellie Dukes

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Whiplash, also called hyperextension injury or neck strain/sprain is caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head. The momentum from this sudden backward and forward motion causes muscle strains and/or ligament sprains in the neck. While the neck is the primary area of concern, a person may also experience pain in the back, shoulders, arms, chest, and hands. This sort of injury often occurs during car and biking accidents, especially when rear-ended.


Within 24-72 hours after the event, any of the following may be experienced:

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness in neck, including reduced mobility
  • Headaches
  • Pain in shoulders
  • Pain between shoulder blades
  • Low back pain
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Fatigue
  • Pain or numbness that travels down the arm
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbances


Because injuries to the discs, muscles, and ligaments, cannot be seen on standard X-rays, physicians make a diagnosis based on specific imaging tests-ultrasound and/or MRI. Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of the soft tissue structures in the neck, i.e., muscles and tendons. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a strong magnet to display all structures of the neck in a very detailed image. That being said, an X-ray may be helpful in seeing if there are any fractures in the vertebrae as a result of the accident.


There are many treatment options for whiplash. Ice, heat, rest, cortisone steroid injections, pain relief medications, physical therapy, chiropractic, and/or acupuncture are all common ways people find relief.

Massage Therapy

Whether you experience minor aches and pain, or extreme discomfort, massage therapy can provide relief from whiplash symptoms. Massage therapy helps to speed the healing process by bringing fresh blood and nutrients into the area, and improving localized circulation. A variety of techniques can be employed to address whiplash-related pain…be it physical or emotional. Incidents that result in whiplash are often traumatic for people. Research studies have shown that emotional trauma can exacerbate physical pain. A general relaxation massage can help to relieve the emotional distress related to the incident.

When using massage therapy to address whiplash symptoms, it is important to wait a few days after the incident to receive more in-depth massage work; though lymphatic drainage techniques can be done soon after the event. This kind of massage is very gentle and helps to manage inflammation in the area. It is essential to see a physician shortly after the incident so that they may assess the extent of the injuries, and if there are any fractures.

In many cases, people suffering from whiplash find relief with massage therapy. I have 12 years of experience treating whiplash pain and discomfort.  If you or someone you know is in need of improved mobility and pain reduction, schedule your session with me today!



Yours in Health,

Are you searching for an expert Licensed Massage Therapist, who knows the ins and outs of chronic pain relief, Look no further! I’m Ellie Dukes, Licensed Massage Therapist-specializing in prenatal and oncology massage therapy for 12 years. However, I offer an array of massage services. Visit me at Trinity Massage Haven in Blue Bell PA. Call to Schedule your appointment today at 267-584-3015 or Book online now.

Contact Me Today!

Schedule your appointment today by calling 267-584-3015

Or Schedule Online Here

You can also contact me if you have any questions or would like more information about my services.

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