Welcome to Advance Physical Therapy!

The term soon began to be utilized as a condition rather than the force itself. The term Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) encompasses the collective symptoms that affect the head and neck after a Whiplash injury. So, Whiplash is a force whereas WAD is termed to describe the conditions and presentation of the injury.
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.
Whiplash Associated Disorders are classified into the following categories by the Quebec Task Force
Higher grades in WADs will require more intensive treatments and longer recovery and may have a poor prognosis.
Licensed physical therapists with knowledge of this area will perform careful examinations to evaluate the structures involved, source of pain, mobility restrictions, musculoskeletal and neurological signs, neurodynamics, palpable tenderness, pressure sensitivity, vertebrobasilar insufficiency, etc.
Grade 1-3 WADs are usually successfully treated with multimodal physical therapy interventions with notable improvements in cervical spine pain, headaches, neurological signs, musculoskeletal signs, range of motion, strength, etc.
Referrals are made to specialists when tested positive for neurological involvement, grade 4 WAD, positive sign for VBI, or worsening symptoms.


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

Leave A Comment

Go to Top
Book Appointment