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The Best Stretch After a Whiplash Injury

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It's not uncommon for a person who experiences a front-end or back-end collision to wind up with a whiplash injury. You might be able to send your car to be fixed up in a shop within just a few days, but you could be left with the effects of this injury for months or even years.

If you had a whiplash injury and you just haven't been able to heal properly, I can help. The simple and effective stretch I'm going to share with you can provide incredible improvements and will help you relieve chronic neck pain and stiffness.

Let's get started.

In this article:

  1. What is Whiplash?
  2. How Does a Whiplash Injury Happen?
  3. What Are the Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury?
  4. The Best Stretch for Whiplash Injury
  5. Conclusion

 

Close-up of a mature man suffering from whiplash in front of a car crash |  The Best Stretch After Whiplash Injury


 

 

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when a person's head moves rapidly backward and then forward, or forward and then backward with a lot of force. The sudden and rapid movement is much like the cracking of a whip. Some people may also refer to whiplash as a sprain to the neck, or neck strain.

The motion causes your tendons and ligaments in your neck to stretch beyond their normal range of motion and tear.

The thing with ligaments is that they heal with scar tissue, they don't have a lot of blood supply. You're basically left with tight elastic connective tissue, which you have to stretch to create more space.

 

If you were in a front-end collision:

If you were in a front-end collision, or you hit something head-on, your head and neck went forward first. This forceful motion caused you to tear the ligaments in the back part of your neck.

 

If you were in a rear-end collision:

If you were in a rear-end collision, the first thing that happened is your head and neck suddenly went backward. This caused you to tear and injure the ligaments in the front part of the neck.

Young businesswoman sitting in front of a laptop and holding her neck with a pained expression |  The Best Stretch After Whiplash Injury


 

 

How Does a Whiplash Injury Happen?

Whiplash happens when something causes your head to be quickly and forcefully thrown in a front-to-back, or back-to-front motion. Whiplash most often occurs as the result of a car collision, but there are other instances that can cause whiplash as well. No matter how you got whiplash, the neck stretch I'm going to share with you will help with your symptoms.

 

Whiplash may result from:

  • Auto accidents (rear-end or front-end)
  • Contact sports
  • Horseback riding
  • A fall
  • Physical abuse

 

 

What Are the Symptoms of a Whiplash Injury?

You may notice the effects of whiplash instantly, or it may take some time for your symptoms to really become apparent. Most often, within 24 hours of the incident, symptoms will become noticeable. But, even if a few days pass before you notice any symptoms, those symptoms could still be the result of whiplash. These symptoms can then last a few weeks, a few months, or even years.

 

Common symptoms of whiplash:

  • Neck pain
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Worsening of pain with neck movement
  • Loss or limited range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches (often starting at the base of the skull)
  • Pain or tenderness in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
  • Numbness in the arms
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

 

Less common whiplash symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Problems with concentration and memory

 

Woman helping a man with whiplash stretch his neck  |  The Best Stretch After Whiplash Injury


 

 

The Best Stretch for Whiplash Injury

I believe the stretches I'm going to share will help you see a dramatic difference with neck pain and other symptoms after a whiplash injury. I do want to point out that these stretches are for chronic whiplash injury symptoms. You would not want to do these stretches right after the injury happened. Right after the injury occurs, your doctor may want you to rest, take medication, or try a cervical collar, and see where your neck pain is in a few days.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the best thing to do for chronic symptoms is to work on the soft tissues on the opposite side of your neck from where you're feeling pain. Essentially, what you're going to do with both of these exercises, is stretch all of the opposite ligaments and soft tissues to allow the injured part of the neck to come out of the tightness. It's crucial that you're always stretching the opposite side than the side that was damaged.

 

If you had a whiplash injury from behind

If you had an injury from behind, your head went backward, and you tore your cervical (neck) tendons and soft tissues in the front part of your neck. What you should do is stretch forward, as if you were trying to touch your chin to your chest.

  1. Place your hands on the back of your neck
  2. Gently push your head forward
  3. Slowly raise your head
  4. Repeat several times throughout the day

 

If you had a whiplash injury from the front:

If you had an injury from the front, your head went forward, tearing the cervical soft tissues in the back part of the neck. In this case, you need to stretch your head backward to stretch the cervical muscles in the front part of the neck.

  1. Place one hand under your chin
  2. Gently press your head back
  3. Slowly raise your head
  4. Repeat several times throughout the day

 

 

Conclusion

If something like a car accident caused your head to be thrown in a quick and forceful motion, it could have resulted in a whiplash injury. One of the main symptoms of whiplash, also known as a sprain to the neck, is neck pain.

Your doctor may take an X-ray to help diagnose the issue. An x-ray will help rule out other possibilities that could be causing the neck pain. After you're diagnosed, your doctor may want you to take a prescription, rest, or do physical therapy. The problem is, after all of that, you might still have pain.

That's why I wanted to share with you these incredible stretches for chronic whiplash symptoms. The most important thing to remember is to always stretch the opposite side than the side that was damaged.

These stretches have worked wonders for those who have experienced whiplash—I believe they'll work for you too.

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