What to Expect from Whiplash Treatment Exercises

Nothing is quite as debilitating as persistent neck pain that limits your mobility. Up to 80 percent of the population experience some form of neck pain in their lifetime.

If you have neck pain that limits your daily activities, you could be suffering from whiplash. Here’s how it’s diagnosed and what you can expect from whiplash treatment exercises. 

Understanding Whiplash

In most cases, whiplash is the result of unexpected force exerted upon the neck muscles. Generally, it’s a combination of both forward and backward force that strains the neck and all its components. This includes the spinal vertebrae of the neck, the discs between vertebrae, ligaments, muscles, and other tissues. 

The medical term for whiplash is WAD (Whiplash Associated Disorder), which includes four different classifications: 

  1. WAD I: neck pain on its own 
  2. WAD II: neck pain with a significant loss of range of motion (ROM) in all directions
  3. WAD III: neck pain with a significant loss of ROM as well as numbness in arms and hands 
  4. ROM IV: neck pain, including a fracture or dislocation 

Even if you only experience neck pain on its own, it’s still important to see a chiropractor about what you’re experiencing. Untreated neck pain could worsen over time. 

So, what exactly are the symptoms of whiplash? 

  • Pain in the neck area, along with stiffness
  • Pain that worsens when you move your neck 
  • Pain in the upper back, shoulders, or arms 
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Neurological symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the arms and hands 
  • Blurred vision
  • Insomnia due to pain
  • Poor concentration 
  • Persistent headaches

Depending on the classification or severity of your whiplash, you might only experience one, a few, or all of the above symptoms. Regardless, persistent neck pain is not normal, and you should seek professional help before it gets worse.  

Common Whiplash Treatment Exercises 

When you’re diagnosed with whiplash, it’s important to visit an auto accident chiropractor who can assist with your physical therapy and get your neck back in working order. 

Chiropractic treatment might include a range of different techniques. Some of these include spinal adjustment, physical rehabilitation, and massage therapy. 

A car accident chiropractor is your best bet for making a full and long-lasting recovery, as they have the knowledge and experience you need. They will brief you on the best at-home treatment exercises you can do to support your rehabilitation.

Chin Tucks

This a great exercise for stretching the muscles of the cervical spine. You can do this stretch either lying down or seated. Here’s how to do chin tucks in a seated position: 

  • Take a seat on a good, supportive chair
  • Keep your head and neck in a neutral position
  • Look ahead of you, then move your head backward so that your chin tucks in and down 
  • Try not to move your neck, only your head

Hold this position for five seconds, and repeat it 10 times.

Head Rotations

The purpose of this exercise is to alleviate some of the tension and tightness in your neck. At first, it might feel uncomfortable. But the more you move your neck, the better it will feel. 

  • Sit down on a comfortable, supportive chair
  • Keep your head and neck in a neutral position
  • Start by rotating your chin towards your right shoulder, and use your hand to guide your head for a deeper stretch (if possible)
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side 

Try to perform this exercise three to five times on each side.  

Side Bends 

This is another good exercise for relieving tension and improving the mobility of your neck. 

  • Take a seat in a supportive chair and maintain a neutral head and neck position.
  • Look forward, then slightly lower your right ear towards your right shoulder.
  • You can use your right hand to gently guide your head down towards your shoulder for a deeper stretch.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds, then repeat on the left side 

If possible, repeat this stretch three to five times on each side. 

Scapular Stabilization

This exercise might sound fancy, but it’s as simple as rolling back your shoulders and engaging your scapular muscles (shoulder blades). This is a good stretch for relieving tension in the shoulders and upper back:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your side
  • Look straight ahead of you and relax your shoulders
  • Then, gently roll your shoulders up, down, and back, engaging your scapular muscles 
  • Your chest will stick out slightly while you hold this position for 10 seconds
  • Make sure your neck and head remain in a neutral position

Repeat this exercise five times, twice a day. As a progression of this exercise, use a resistance band anchored on a door handle. As you pull the band towards you, engage your shoulder blades and hold for five seconds, then release. 


Re-strengthening the muscles in your upper back and neck will also help with your rehabilitation. This is where isometric exercises are a must. Here’s how to do a simple isometric exercise: 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and look straight ahead 
  • Place the palm of your hand on your forehead and push your head against your palm 
  • Use your palm as resistance against your head and hold for three to five seconds

The more you repeat this exercise, the more strength you’ll rebuild.

Prone Cobra Stretch

The prone Cobra stretch is another simple way to rebuild strength in your neck, upper back, and shoulders. 

  • Lie down on the floor on your stomach, and use a rolled-up hand towel to cushion your forehead.
  • Position your arms at your sides with your palms face-down on the floor  
  • Slowly pinch your shoulder blades together as you lift your hands off the floor, keeping your palms facing downward
  • Roll your elbows inwards and your palms outwards
  • Lift your forehead off the towel and hold for 10 seconds 

Top tip: Move your tongue to the roof of your mouth to assist in stabilizing your neck muscles.

Banish Your Neck Pain With Anthem Chiropractic 

With over 25 years of experience and a 24-hour answering service, we at Anthem Chiropractic have helped hundreds of patients find long-term relief. We are your go-to for auto-injury rehabilitation and whiplash treatment exercises.

If you’re sick of living with neck pain, schedule your appointment with a chiropractor in Henderson today. 

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