Whiplash Associated Disorder

What Is Whiplash Associated Disorder?


Whiplash associated disorder (WAD) is the medical term used to describe the symptoms arising from a whiplash injury. This condition is commonly associated with a cervical acceleration/deceleration mechanism during a motor vehicle collision.

Due to the complex nature of a whiplash injury, multiple sites within the neck can be injured including the ligaments, discs, muscles, joints, nerve, capsules, blood vessels and bones. From a clinical perspective, the main goal is to make the appropriate diagnosis so that the treatment can be tailored specifically to the presenting patient.

Individuals sustaining a whiplash injury may present with a variety of physical and psychological manifestations. The predominant symptom is neck pain but headaches, dizziness and lumbar spine pain are also reported. Some individuals may also complain symptoms involving difficulties with cognitive tasks and mood disturbances.

How OHP Kelowna Chiropractors Can Help?

At OHP Kelowna, we frequently encounter patients who suffer with whiplash associated disorders such as neck pain, headaches and shoulder girdle pain.

At the first consultation, an OHP Kelowna chiropractor will take a full case history and perform specific orthopaedic and neurological tests to ascertain which structures may be causing your neck pain and if any further tests are required such as X-rays or MRI scans. From here, a diagnosis or cause of the neck pain will be explained and in most cases treatment can then be initiated.

In the early stages of care, most treatment and advice are directed at easing inflammation and restoring range of motion in the neck through spinal mobilisation, manipulation, soft tissue work (massage), traction and postural advice. In the latter stages of care, our health practitioners focus on progressive rehabilitation which may involve strengthening the injured neck musculature.