Whiplash Injury: Can it be treated non-surgically?

By Dr. Christina Lasich

Whiplash Injury: Can it be treated non-surgically?

Two million whiplash injuries occur every year. As the number of claims rise, insurance companies are getting very interested in refining treatment protocols. With a better understanding about whiplash injuries, recovery times should improve and chronic pain should be prevented. With many different treatments are available to people with neck pain, it is hard to determine which ones work best. Overall, experts are in favor of a non-surgical approach for treating whiplash injuries.  


William was recently in a rear-end collision while waiting at a stop sign. His neck feels a little stiff and painful. Being worried, he calls his doctor. As usual, his doctor cannot see him for two weeks. He does not want to go to the emergency room and wait for hours. So, he decides to tough it out. What can he do in the mean time? His friends encourage him to file a claim with his insurance and consider getting a lawyer. William just wants to feel better.


First and foremost, everyone needs to start thinking about preventing whiplash injuries. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Accident avoidance is an obvious solution. In the event an accident does happen, it would be best to be in a vehicle that has good crash ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has all the ratings on their website, www.iihs.org. Next, one should always wear a seatbelt. However, even that is not enough. Everyone needs to pay attention to one of the most overlooked safety feature in a car—the head restraint. An improperly adjusted headrest leads to a high risk of whiplash injury. Normally, a person’s head restraint is too low. When a vehicle is purchased, that head restraint does not come fitted to the new owner. A driver and/or passenger need to adjust the headrest to fit him. A properly adjusted head rest will be centered on the back of the head and be set back no more than 3 inches from the head. Even if someone has already been in a collision, it is not too late to start thinking about prevention because the next accident could be just around the corner.

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