Long-Term Effects of Whiplash and How to Cope

The term whiplash comes from the way a whip moves when it is cracked. It is generally associated with someone being in a car accident. In fact, at speeds as low as five miles per hour whiplash can occur, altering the neck bones so they are no longer in their proper position. The effects of whiplash can last for up to 10 years if they are not treated properly and in a timely manner. If not treated, muscles and ligaments in the neck can be damaged leading to improper posture and affecting overall brain function.

Whiplash, Concussions, and Children

Whenever a child plays in a game of sports, he is susceptible to injury. Whiplash may be the cause of concussions on the playing field. Concussions usually mean an extreme impact to the head causing symptoms to occur immediately. However, research reveals that even minor whiplash during a sporting event can lead to concussions. This can be difficult to diagnose and, therefore, hard to treat.

Effective, Long-Lasting Treatment

Whether someone has endured whiplash due to an auto accident or a sports game, a great place to turn for treatment is to seek the care of an upper cervical chiropractor. We can help our patients find natural relief by addressing the root cause of the problem. Often it is due to a misalignment in the upper neck. We use precise tests to detect whether or not the atlas (C1) is in proper alignment at the base of the skull and top of the neck. If a misalignment is found, the brain and body may not be communicating properly. Because of this, the body cannot heal and function correctly.

A study completed using whiplash patients proved that by entrusting their care to upper cervical chiropractors, they were able to heal much quicker than those not doing so. By keeping the spine in proper alignment and correcting any problems, pain, range of motion in the neck, muscle strength, and neck alignment improved significantly.


  • Severy DM, Mathewson JH, Bechtol CO. Controlled automobile rear-end collisions: an investigation of related engineering and mechanical phenomenon. Can Services Med J 11:727-758, 1955.
  • McCoy HG, McCoy M. A multiple parameter assessment of whiplash injury patients undergoing subluxation based chiropractic care: a retrospective study. JVSR. 1997;1(3):51-61.

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NUCCA Chiropractic Care

What is NUCCA
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is an organization of Doctors of Chiropractic dedicated to patient care, education and research.

Spinal health care using the NUCCA procedures focuses on detecting and correcting a small misalignment in the upper neck area. Gentle, non-invasive adjustments don’t require any turning, twisting or popping.

Your upper cervical spine (neck) area influences all areas of your body. Injury or chronic misalignments can cause headaches, migraines, neck pain, low back pain, weakness and more.

The NUCCA technique is currently offered by less than 1% of all the Doctors of Chiropractic.

Before the NUCCA procedure can be performed, I will sit down with you and discuss your history and symptoms. If I determine that NUCCA can help, a thorough examination and x-rays will be done. A complete report of your findings and treatment options will be discussed. 

First adjustment
Precision x-rays are taken of the spine before any treatment begins. The adjustment is performed with the patient lying on their side and the doctor applying a very light pressure behind the earlobe. A full demonstration can be seen on the video above.

The NUCCA procedure can be summed up with 5 major distinctions as compared to traditional Chiropractic:

  • Gentle adjustment to the neck with no turning, twisting or popping.
  • Precision x-rays to measure before and after corrections.
  • Total body posture and balance improvement
  • Greater stability to the spine
  • Hold adjustments longer with fewer visits

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