Patient Information Resources

Alpine Physical Therapy
Three Locations
In North, South, and Downtown Missoula
Missoula, MT 59804
Ph: 406-251-2323
Fax: 406-251-2999

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

« Back

When a whiplash occurs, what causes the pain afterward: the forward movement of the head or the snap back?

Both. Whiplash has two separate phases very close to what you've described. In the first phase, the person's head actually goes backward into extension. The head and neck then return to the neutral, upright position before going forward and snapping back again. It happens so quickly the person isn't really aware of all the distinct movements.

Strain to the joints and ligaments occurs at different points in this movement. The neck ligaments are strained the most during that first backward phase returning to neutral. Then the joints are pressed together and slide forward and back. Any of these motions can go beyond where the joint is normally capable of going.


« Back

*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Mosaic Medical Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Mosaic Medical Group, LLC and used herein by permission.