Whiplash & Massage

  • Written by Kirk Bradley, LMP
You probably have heard the term “whiplash” used to describe a type of injury to the neck caused by an automobile collision. And if you have ever had a whiplash injury, you know how painful it can be and how it can adversely affect your quality of life.

In an auto collision, your head is suddenly and violently moved backward and forward (similar to the motion made with the wrist when someone cracks a whip.) This sudden and  violent movement damages the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) in the neck by over-stretching or tearing them.

Common symptoms of whiplash may include:

Neck pain

Neck stiffness


Back pain (between shoulder blades and/or low-back)



Difficulty concentrating and/or remembering


Sleep disturbances

Blurred vision

Effective treatment of whiplash initially consists of reducing the pain and swelling of acute inflammation. Ice or cold packs, applied to the neck for 15-20 minutes several times per day, is a must.

Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications may also be prescribed by your doctor. After at least 48 hours have passed from the time of the injury, light and gentle massage techniques should be performed to help decrease pain and inflammation and increase circulation in the traumatized tissues, thus speeding-up the healing process.

As healing progresses, slightly more aggressive massage techniques are vital for breaking up and realigning scar tissue in the neck muscles in order to prevent adhesions (adjoining tissues which have become “stuck together” by scar tissue, causing tightness and decreased flexibility). Without therapeutic massage treatment, the pain, tightness and loss of flexibility will likely become chronic and may go on for years or decades. If you have been in an auto accident and have any of the symptoms of  whiplash injury, it is vital that you get massage therapy as a part of your full treatment plan in order to restore your muscles’ full health and function. If you have personal injury protection as part of your auto insurance policy, we can usually bill your insurance, with no out-of-pocket expense to you.

Harmony Massage

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