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Injuries to the neck region (cervical spine) have been deeply studied for several decades by many researchers in healthcare. Pain in the neck is often described as “Whiplash” which was first coined by Harold Crowe in 1928. The term has since then evolved with more advancements in the field of diagnostic imaging, treatments, and rehabilitation. Early physical therapy is strongly advocated after a motor vehicle accident.
Any delays in getting evaluated and treated by a licensed physical therapist result in impaired cervical mobility, pressure hypersensitivity, the development of chronic pain, trigger points in the neck and arms, and headaches. It is not a surprise that whiplash injuries, though significantly painful, are often accompanied by diagnostic workups without any major structural pathology to the spine. The reason behind this is the complex phenomenon of how pain is generated, and transmitted and the associated factors that make it intense.
A licensed physical therapist with knowledge in this area will perform a careful evaluation explain to you the clinical presentation of your injuries and develop a multimodal treatment plan to effectively reduce your pain and the anticipated timeline. Treatments will consist of utilizing anti-inflammatory modalities, manual therapy approaches to reduce pain, spasms, and muscle knots (Trigger Points), decompressing the injured joints, discs, and pinching nerves, exercises to restore your mobility and strength, and strengthening muscles to stabilize the injured area.


Fernández-Pérez AM, Villaverde-Gutiérrez C, Mora-Sánchez A, Alonso-Blanco C, Sterling M, Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C. Muscle trigger points, pressure pain threshold, and cervical range of motion in patients with high level of disability related to acute whiplash injury. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2012;42(7):634-641. doi:10.2519/jospt.2012.4117

Pastakia K, Kumar S. Acute whiplash-associated disorders (WAD). Open Access Emerg Med. 2011;3:29-32. Published 2011 Apr 27. doi:10.2147/OAEM.S17853

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