Whiplash and Massage Therapy

Whiplash, sometimes referred to as neck sprain, is a neck injury caused by a sudden jolt or movement of the head backward and then suddenly forward, moving neck muscles beyond their normal range of motion, causing damage to muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments.

Many patients with neck trauma complain of not only neck pain, but headaches, nausea. dizziness after laying for a long period of time, pain behind the eyes, pain between shoulder blades, pain in the jaw, pain in the low back,  and/or tension in upper Trapezius muscles. Sternocleidomastoid pain is very common.

There are seven bones in your neck  called cervical vertebrae, and they are connected by muscles and ligaments, which are strands of tissue that perform like a rubber band.

Stretches or tears can occur in these tissues when a sudden jerk or movement, such as car accident, causes the neck to move quickly and sharply to a bended position.

Because there are so many muscles, tendons and ligaments that can be affected by sudden trauma to the neck, symptoms often vary from one person to the next.

Unfortunately, patients also have a hard time sleeping with neck sprain, as well as irritability, fatigue, and irregular thinking and concentration patterns. 

Other patients may experience numbness or pain in the arms or legs, muscle spasms, depression, anxiety, and/or post traumatic stress issues.

Years ago, patients were given a neck brace to wear when any neck injury occured. Today most physicians will recommend early stretching and massage therapy soon after the incident.

Massage helps create a deep relaxation of the muscles, helps to ease the pain, and relaxes your mind from the trauma of the incident. Also, because massage increases blood circulation, which carries oxygen and nutrients, it can speed healing time.

Neck Massage is best if done within 2-3 days after the incident to avoid long-term pain issues.

The practitioner will most likely use light, gentle pressure and encourage weekly treatments. He/She may use hot stone massage therapy  to encourage muscle release in various areas around and within the muscle.

He/She will also instruct you to get lots of rest, drink plenty of water, and limit physical activities. Neck massage and stretching instructions for use at home may also be given.

This DVD, Clinical Trigger Point Therapy Protocol for Neck Pain & Headaches helps you learn how to massage many pain conditions, including severe injuries, associated with trauma to neck and shoulders. This is the ultimate DVD reference for trigger point techniques for massage therapy practitioners! 

Make sure the therapist is trained in CranioSacral massage techniques or Trigger Point Therapy, and has extensive knowledge of upper body muscle origins, attachments and actions. 

This is important when working with patients with whiplash, as some massage therapists could do more harm than good.


Go back to Massage Education Guide Homepage

Go Back to Massage Therapy for Pain Syndromes from Whiplash


New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Like This Site?
Please Let Me Know ;-)



Follow Me on Pinterest





Popular Pages

How to Give Back Massage

Building your own Website

Learning Foot Massage

Types of Face Massage

Benefits of Massage Cupping

Choosing Massage Stones

Choosing a Massage Table

Marketing through Social Media

Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior in the Massage Room