Better understanding of symptoms of whiplash leads to better treatment

Our understanding of the long term effects of car crashes has grown a lot over the past ten years.

It’s now generally accepted that the sudden acceleration and deceleration of the neck that occurs when you’re rear-ended initiates a gradual process of joint degeneration.   Individuals who have been in an auto accident are much more likely to experience neck pain, headaches, or facial pain even years later.

We’ve also learned how to distinguish whiplash injuries from other types of neck problems.

People who have been in a car crash are much more likely to have trigger points at the top of their neck, just under the skull.  If you have neck pain from another cause (poor posture at work, for instance) you’re more likely to have knots elsewhere – in the lower neck, or in the upper trapezius that connects the neck to the shoulder blade.

Fortunately, the symptoms of whiplash are treatable.  The muscle trigger points can be released, the joint play of the spine can be improved, and you can relearn a more balanced pattern of posture and body use.

Multidimensional manual therapy methods are becoming the treatment of choice for whiplash associated disorder.  To get the best results, your treatment plan should include

  • trigger point therapy,
  • joint mobilization or manipulation, and
  • therapeutic exercise.


Dr. Lavine has been an innovator in the use of movement and touch to promote health since 1981. He practices in New York City and Princeton, NJ.


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