Whiplash Injuries And Headaches


Whiplash Injuries And Headaches

In my 17 years as a practicing chiropractic physician I have treated thousands of patients that have sustained injuries due to car accident or ‘whiplash’ type injuries.  It is interesting to me that many people are shocked at the myriad of symptoms that can arise from these types of injuries.  Many times, people think that whiplash and car accidents will only cause neck pain and/or stiffness.


However, there are so many different types of symptoms that can present after a car accident or a whiplash type injury.   Some of the most common are:

Neck pain and/or stiffness
Shoulder pain
Upper back pain and/or stiffness
Numbness in arms or hands
Low back pain and/or stiffness
Numbness or tingling in legs
Pain in wrist and/or elbow
Pain in knee and/or ankle

The one I would like to write about, is one of the more common symptoms I see, headaches.

Headaches come in many forms; tension, cluster, migraine, cervicogenic and the list can go on.  I want to share what can cause post whiplash headaches and what to do about it.


To understand what causes headaches after a whiplash type injury you need to understand the type of injury that occurs.  Whiplash refers to a sprain/strain injury to the spine.  For example, in a rear end car accident collision the torso of the occupant gets thrust forward on impact while the head stays stationary.  This causes the joints, discs, nerves, and muscles in the spine to get sheared apart.  This will over stretch the ligaments and muscles that stabilize the spine and can also tear and injure the disc and/or nerves.

Another very common injury due to the mechanism of a whiplash injury is a traumatic brain injury.  When the head and body get ‘whipped’ about the brain can impact the inside of the skull causing traumatic brain injuries or in other teams a concussion.

All these types of injuries can cause headaches.

The most critical thing that you need to do if you are having headaches due to a whiplash type injury is to get the correct diagnosis as to what is exactly is causing your headaches.  If you do not get the correct treatment it can prolong the time that you may have headaches and, in many cases, make the situation worse.

For example, if you have a traumatic brain injury one of the worst things you can do to manage the symptoms is to take ibuprofen or aspirin.  Ibuprofen and aspirin thins your blood and if you have had a brain injury those medications can cause an increase of blood and fluid in your brain, thereby causing more pressure and making the injury worse.


If you are having headaches and recently have had a whiplash injury, then get in to see us at Spinal Rehab of North County.  We are experts and not only diagnosing accurately what the causes of your headaches could be but also putting together an effective treatment plan to get you better quickly.  The sooner you call our office and get in after a whiplash injury the faster you can recover and get back to life.  Call us at 801-492-9300 to schedule.


Dr. Templeton

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.