416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 8pm

416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-8pm

Can Osteopathy Help With Whiplash?

Published by Better Health Osteopathy on 20 August 2021, Whiplash

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful hyper-flexion and hyper-extension movement of the neck and often can affect the entire spine. Car accidents commonly cause whiplash, sporting accidents, falls and many other injuries that affect people of all ages. These forces may result in painful injuries to the muscles, ligaments, joints and discs of the neck and other spinal areas.

Symptoms can include headaches, neck pain, dizziness, shoulder pain, numbness into the arms and sometimes thoracic and low back pain.

Most people with whiplash heal within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes physical therapy, rehabilitation exercises, and sometimes pain medications. Whiplash is something that our Osteopaths regularly treat at Better Health Osteopathy.


Cervical Spine Soft Tissue Injuries From Whiplash


Symptoms of Whiplash Injury?

Whiplash does not just affect the neck, which is a common misconception. It can affect the entire spinal column and can present itself in several ways, including the following:

  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Thoracic and Rib Pain
  • Car Seatbelt Injury
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness & Vertigo
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Pain in Legs or Arms
  • Concussion Symptoms


Are There Longer-Term Complications of Whiplash?

Most people who have whiplash feel better within a few weeks following injury. It is imperative always to get your injury checked with a medical professional such as your Osteopath, who will then advise on the best course of treatment if needed.

Unfortunately, some patients go on to have some serious chronic debilitating neck pain, headaches, and lack of mobility, which can seriously impact everyday activities such as work and caring for the family. Chronic whiplash can also cause psychological distress, including anxiety and depression in some patients.

At Better Health Osteopathy, we often treat these patients who are suffering long term complications of whiplash. One cohort of patients we often see are younger men who have suffered several whiplash injuries from the likes of sporting injuries and car accidents. They often can go on to suffer from this injury for a long time.

Can Osteopathy Help with Whiplash?

Osteopaths regularly treat patients suffering from whiplash. Osteopathic treatment of whiplash injuries aims to reduce pain and inflammation and restore mobility and function throughout the body, often reducing the need for medication.

During treatment, it is crucial to address the neck symptoms and all the presenting symptoms of the whiplash injury, which can affect parts of the body further from the neck and right down into the low back and pelvis.

Osteopathic treatment often includes gentle mobilisation and manipulation of joints and muscles, myofascial release to release the tension in your soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles). Rehabilitation exercises often form an important part of the treatment plan. These can include muscle stretching, strengthening and proprioception retraining programs. Patient education is also an integral component of the overall treatment plan.

The Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy aim to return patients suffering from whiplash back to health and everyday activities and promote a pain-free life for the future.


If you are struggling with whiplash – Our Osteopaths are here to help you! Please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Herity at Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch today. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.

Better Health Osteopathy

Lorraine Herity is the Clinic Director of Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch, New Zealand. She previously worked in Osteopathic clinics in London and Ireland, before moving to New Zealand. Lorraine trained at the British School of Osteopathy in London, where she gained her Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost). Lorraine is a dedicated and passionate Osteopath. Her main aim is to help her patients regain their health and to return her patients back to their everyday activities, in as quick a time as possible. Lorraine is also a clinic tutor on the Osteopathic Course in Ara and relishes the opportunity to teach the next generation of osteopaths.