Whiplash is a term used to describe neck pain as the result of injury to the soft tissues of your neck, specifically the muscles and ligaments. It is essentially a neck sprain or strain caused when a forceful, rapbid back-and-forth force is applied to your head or neck that pushes it beyond its normal range of motion.

Whiplash can happen for many reasons, such as a sports injury, a fall, repetitive stress such as from phone work, or other personal injury, although it is most common from car accidents especially rear-end collisions. You should be aware that the severity of damage to your car does not necessarily indicate if you have whiplash or not. Speeds as low as 10 miles per hour can produce enough force to cause neck injury, with or without a seatbelt.

Our chiropractors and orthopedics health professionals are often asked by patients if they should always get checked out after an accident. Yes, always! Symptoms of whiplash usually appear within 24 hours and you should get checked out within one day if possible. Sometimes symptoms may not develop for weeks or months, so you should always get checked out right away regardless of if symptoms develop immediately.


Symptoms may range from mild to severe, but whiplash usually feels like pain in the neck and shoulder. Other symptoms may include:

  • Arm pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Headache
  • Incontinence
  • Irritability
  • Muscle spasms or weakness
  • Nerve pain
  • “Pins and needles”
  • Ringing in ears
  • Stiff neck
  • Tender neck
  • Trouble sleeping

You should see one of our doctors immediately if you have pain in your shoulders or arms, moving your head is painful, or you have numbness or muscle weakness.


Here at Backfit Health + Spine, we diagnose first with a thorough physical exam, including range of motion testing, reflexes, discussing how the injury occurred, where you feel pain, and what kind of pain it is (such as dull, shooting, or sharp). We will also provide digital x-rays in-house to confirm your pain isn’t connected to any other type of injury or condition, such as degenerative disc disease or arthritis. A CT scan or MRI may be ordered, but is usually not necessary for whiplash injuries.

In addition to a lot of rest and possibly icing, treatment for whiplash may include physical therapy as a a crucial role in faster recovery. Practicing PT exercises to build strength and flexibility in your neck will keep your neck muscles from straining while you recover. The goal of whiplash treatment is to control and reduce pain, restore normal range of motion, and return you to your normal everyday activities.

In addition, some limited chiropractic care can also assist in recovery, a massage at BackFit may relieve some muscle tension, and electronic nerve stimulation (TENS or PENS) can also help.


If you are coming in after an accident, please bring your auto insurance, all 3rd party auto insurance involved in the accident, and if you’re hiring an attorney, any information they’ve provided you so far.

After an injury, you can expect no initial costs. We work regularly with insurance companies and attorneys to resolve the costs of an accident or injury. When you come in, we will provide you with an immediate treatment plan and explain how injury cases work in your state.

If you’ve been in an accident, don’t hesitate.

young man rubbing his neck from a car accident

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Absolutely love this place! My husband and I have been going here for a while, and every time they remember us. We never have to re-explain anything. From the front desk to the medical team and chiropractors, they genuinely care. I’ve been having issues with my back and knee for as long as I can remember, and they helped make me feel better then I ever have. It's hard to find businesses that are run like BackFit. They have what is best for you at heart. Thanks for making my husband and I feel better then we’ve felt in years!

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I would highly recommend BackFit. The staff and doctors are wonderful and my treatment has been very successful. My migraine headaches and sciatic nerve pain are completely gone. I have significantly less lower back pain and much more range of motion despite the fact that the disc in my back was very damaged. I can now go about my daily living without health issues getting in the way.

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Great adjustments. Friendly staff too. Good therapists for exercising and stretching before I get adjusted. Been going for 4 years, totally love coming to get adjusted. Not scary at all. I had severe lower back pain and spasms. When I go for a routine adjustment it keeps from back pain occurring and my back spasming.

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Going to BackFit was one of the best decisions I've made. I couldn't get out of bed because of severe back pain. I called BackFit and they were able to see me that day. They took x-rays in office. Loved that I didn't have to go anywhere else. Went back a couple days later to go over x-ray results with the chiropractor and started working on a solution, also with their in-house physician assistant and physical therapist. Not only have they been able to relieve the pain in my back but they have worked on other kinks in my body. Oh, and they also helped me lose weight. What more can I say, the people are amazing and the results are amazing! If anything in your body hurts, go to BackFit!

Natalie B
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I recommend this place to everyone! Highly attentive professionals that are not only motivational and work very well as a team, but most importantly make you feel like family. I always look forward to my visits.

Brenda Z
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The team here is so friendly and helpful! They helped me rehab my whiplash and back pain! I am so grateful for the people that took the time to listen to me and that gave me the attention I needed.

Edelmira Y
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I look forward and enjoy every visit in my road to back recovery. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and welcoming. I will no longer be looking for another chiropractor office to meet my back needs. I also like the fact they provide other health needs.

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I was a little weary at first, but man even in the first two weeks they are really making a difference in my health! I felt the difference just after my first visit! I am committed to coming back and staying consistently. I actually recommend!