What Is Whiplash and How Is It Treated?

What Is Whiplash and How Is It Treated?

“Whiplash” is a colloquialism, or commonly used non-medical term. As a result, it’s somewhat vague and often misused or misunderstood.

To help clear up possible misunderstandings, let’s address the question…

What is whiplash?

As a Trinity personal injury lawyer, I am very familiar with cases of whiplash that occur due to motor vehicle accidents.

In a nutshell, whiplash is the effect of a physical force acting against your body that causes it to jolt back and forth. When someone is in an impact, the force of the collision will propel that person’s head in one direction, while the seatbelt pulls it back in another. These two forces cause a back and forth motion that literally whips someone’s head.

The outcome of whiplash on someone’s head and neck can be very painful. Whiplash itself is not a medical diagnosis. People who have experienced whiplash often suffer strains or tears to muscles, ligaments or other soft tissue. It’s important to have a doctor diagnose what specific muscles or ligaments have been damaged and the extent of the injury.

How is whiplash treated?

Once a doctor has completed the diagnosis, he or she can prescribe the medical treatment that will best help with recovery.

Some of the treatment options may include:

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications
  • Resting and reducing use of the strained area
  • Immobilizing the neck with a brace
  • Applying cold and/or heat to the wounded area
  • Receiving massage
  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Surgery


I encourage my clients to choose the treatment plan that will be most beneficial for them personally and to make that decision in consultation with their doctor. Some people can recover quickly with just one type of treatment, and others opt for a combination of treatment options. The best thing for a client to do is to take their time in the healing and treatment process and do what’s best for their own body.

If you have other questions about whiplash or you experienced whiplash in a car accident and would like to speak with a motor vehicle accident attorney in New Port Richey, Spring Hill, Brooksville or Inverness, contact my office. Our caring legal team will answer all your questions and take the time needed to help you decide what you need to do next.

– Chuck Philips