Whiplash occurs when a sudden movement forces the head to jerk forward abruptly, pulling at the neck muscles and affecting bone structure and soft tissues. When left untreated, whiplash can lead to chronic pain that is often difficult to treat, so it is important to address the condition as soon as possible.
Whiplash can cause the following symptoms:
• Neck pain and swelling;
• Difficulty in moving the neck;
• Shooting pains from the neck into the shoulder or arm; and/or
• Muscle spasms.
In Chinese medicine, whiplash is thought of as a balance disorder because the structure of the bones has been affected by a sudden movement. Treatment focuses on helping patients regain proper balance. Acupuncture also works to alleviate the pain associated with whiplash.