Why Does Whiplash Occur?

chiropractor in St. James

Why Does Whiplash Occur?

How can we explain what causes whiplash? What exactly is whiplash? These are common questions that many Chiropractic patients and everyday people have. Whiplash is a common neck injury which results from an impact to the rear of your body when you are in a static, motionless position.

The jerking movement of your neck when you are forced forward and then snapping your head backward can be stressful on your neck.  For more information, click here to assess and relieve your whiplash symptoms with our qualified chiropractor in St. James.

What Causes Whiplash?

Physics can help explain that rear-end car accidents often cause the condition known as whiplash. Let’s start by using a simplified explanation of Newton’s First Law;

  • Newton said that an object that is at a standstill will remain at a standstill unless there is force applied to the object.
  • The same applies to objects (or in our case, people) that are in motion– objects will stay in motion unless a force is applied to said object.


How does this relate to a car accident?

*If you are looking for a chiropractor in St. James that provides care for those with auto accident injuries, read this page for more information.*

In the case that you are rear-ended by another vehicle, your motionless body is forced forward due to the force applied to your vehicle by the vehicle behind you.

Assuming that your seat belt is buckled, your neck will be free to move in any direction while the rest of your body is stabilized. Your neck often jerks forward and then backward in this situation, straining the soft tissues in your neck.

How can you treat whiplash?

While pain medications treat symptoms, they often can’t fix the root of the issue. The soft tissue injuries that are commonly associated with whiplash can be treated using a multitude of chiropractic methods:

  • Acupuncture
    • Using thin sterilized needles that are inserted into specific points of the body, Acupuncture is a minimally invasive and effective pain relief method for neck injuries.
  • Spinal Decompression Therapy (SDT)
    • SDT can help relieve the pressure on a bulging or herniated disc in the spine, which are common neck, upper and lower back pain-related injuries.

Dr. Semente is a Chiropractor in St. James that offers both acupuncture and spinal decompression therapy. If you are interested in these treatment options, click here to contact us for an appointment.