Whiplash – More Than Just a Pain in the Neck

We’ve all heard of whiplash somewhere along the line (officially known as Whiplash Associated Disorder – W.A.D). As chiropractors we see people with whiplash often and have found the most common causes of whiplash in Mandurah are:

  1. Car accidents;
  2. Knocks to the head in sporting games such as rugby, soccer or football;
  3. An unexpected fall or slipping over - causing a jolt to the head. 

With so many causes of whiplash, you may have experienced it yourself at some point and not have realised until much later! That’s because the pain and stiffness associated with whiplash don’t usually show until 12-24 hours after injury.

Many people who have suffered from whiplash still experience pain and other symptoms such as dizziness, long after the whiplash first started. This is known as ‘Chronic Whiplash’, with almost a quarter of people still suffering from mid-back pain 1 year after the incident.

For a long time, the research focus for whiplash has been mainly focused on the neck, but it has been also commonly found to cause symptoms in other areas of the spine. New research has revealed that 65% of people also suffer from acute thoracic spine pain (the thoracic spine is from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage). This is not surprising due to the forceful nature of the injury on surrounding muscles, such as the trapezius muscle. 

This research prompts the need for treatment to be more focused on the spine and musculoskeletal system as a whole. Similarly, research is now finding that treating the middle back can also help low back pain. At Waters Family Chiropractic, treating the spine as a whole has always been our focus. Our treatment for whiplash commonly includes soft tissue therapies, gentle mobilisations, treatment of the thoracic spine, rehabilitation and strengthening exercises, and advice to help keep you out of pain.

Check out our ‘Techniques We Use” page for other treatments we offer.


Heneghan NR, et al. 2016. Thoracic Dysfunction In Whiplash-Associated Disorders: A Systematic Review And Metaanalysis Protocol. Systemic Reviews.