Whiplash: How It Happens and What You Can Do About It

Published by Shauna Burchett, OTR/L on

Have you ever been involved in a car accident or fallen on ice? If so, you may be a victim of a whiplash injury.

A whiplash neck injury is caused by an accident that stretches your neck beyond its normal limit. This often happens in motor vehicle accidents, contact sports, falls, and assaults.

The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain because your body wants to tell you that something has gone wrong after a traumatic event. Eventually, your neck might knot up, causing muscle spasms and you won’t be able to move your neck easily. Your body is trying to protect you from further injury by immobilizing your neck through guarding and pain. This is a great strategy for a short period of time. However, it will reduce your blood circulation and give rise to other problems in the long run. Some common problems are headaches and shooting pain down to your shoulder and arm.

Now, I have some tips for you if you want to lessen the chances of you getting a whiplash injury. First of all, most whiplash injuries happen during a motor vehicle accident. You have to make sure you fasten your seat belt when you drive. Secondly, adjust your head rest so your neck does not snap backward if you get rear ended.

Physical therapy treatment and chiropractic adjustments are effective ways to reduce your neck pain and speed up your recovery. At Synergy Healthcare in Spokane, our therapists  perform custom manual (hands-on) techniques to reduce your neck symptoms and restore your neck motion. These techniques include Myofascial Release, Strain Counterstrain, muscle energy, trigger point and Craniosacral Therapy. We also provide an exercise programs to increase your strength and flexibility. It is our goal to help you get back into your life as soon as possible.

Shauna Burchett, OTR/L

Shauna Burchett, OTR/L is a skilled occupational therapist and the owner of Synergy Healthcare. She graduated from the University of Alberta in 1993 with a degree in Occupational Therapy. Shauna began her career as an occupational therapist specializing in traumatic head injuries. She has also worked in skilled nursing facilities specializing in long and short term geriatric rehabilitation. Shauna has been in private practice since 1998.