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Whiplash and Auto Accident Recovery

Apr 4, 2017

Whiplash and other injuries incurred during an auto accident can be healed, but the key to quick recovery is early treatment.


Balance Bodywork Blog

“Have you been injured in an auto accident?”

How many times have you heard that phrase? With all of the driving we do, accidents are unfortunately a relatively common occurrence. Being involved in a car accident can be a painful experience. It’s not unusual for even a minor fender bender to cause pain and headaches that can linger if not treated correctly.

Whiplash (cervical sprain/strain) is the most common injury we see following an auto accident. It can also be caused by other collisions such as ski accidents, bike crashes, football tackles, etc. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury (involving muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments) that results from the head being abruptly jerked during an impact. It’s invisible on x-rays, but can cause pain ranging from mild to debilitating. Over time the immediate pain may resolve on its own, but the injury typically leaves behind trigger points in the muscles that can cause muscle shortening and painful referrals into the shoulders, mid & upper back, arms, wrists, and even hands.

According to WebMD, symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. However, people who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury:

- Neck pain and stiffness
- Headaches
- Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
- Low back pain
- Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
- Dizziness
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue

Treatment for whiplash can vary depending on your approach.

Ice the sore area as soon as possible to reduce inflammation: 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, repeat. Muscle relaxers and pain medication can help relieve the symptoms, but won’t reduce the long term effects of trigger points. Medical massage will treat the symptoms while also returning the muscles to a normal resting length, eliminating the trigger points, and calming your nervous system. Combine it with Chiropractic care, and the synergy between the two modalities will have you pain-free again in a short period of time.

Even old injuries can be successfully treated, relieving your pain.

Older injuries often take longer to resolve, so the sooner you address them the easier and quicker your treatment will be. Even though it may be too late to bill your auto insurance, the benefits of clearing out the remnants of a whiplash injury are innumerable - including relief from chronic pain, increased range of motion, and helping muscles to fire correctly again.


We can bill your auto insurance directly

To make it easy on our clients, we are happy to bill your Medpay through your auto insurance on your behalf so you don’t have to submit your own claims. All we need is your claim number and auto insurance information.

To make an appointment with one of our medical massage therapists, call (970) 829-1292 or email

We can help you heal!


About the author:

Shannon Allstott is a Licensed Massage Therapist in the State of Colorado. She’s also a Certified Viniyoga teacher, and has completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course developed by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She specializes in Functional Bodywork, including medical massage for injury or surgery recovery, pain relief, and stress management. 


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