Whiplash is a common problem, many of these presentations associated with motor vehicle accidents.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD) is a term used to describe the acceleration-deceleration forces applied to the neck following a motor vehicle accident (MVA). Whiplash can also be as a result of a fall and other similar mechanisms. Whiplash is the term applied to the variety of symptoms arising from a whiplash injury, including neck pain, headaches, nerve symptoms, dizziness, fatigue, and cognitive deficits.

What is causing my pain?

Several potential structures may be involved in the symptoms individuals feel following whiplash injury. These include:

– Muscles

– Bones

– Nerves

– Joints

– Intervertebral Discs

– Ligaments

– Others (including vertebral artery pathology, central changes etc)

Will I recover?

Many recover quickly, in a few days to several weeks.

However, research has shown that up to 50% can develop persistent ongoing neck pain. and 10% with constant severe neck pain (Sterling et al, 2010).

Early treatment is important, as most recovery occurs in the first 2-3 months.

Can Physiotherapy help?

Our Physiotherapists at Physio Performance Clinic regularly assess and treat whiplash injuries, playing an important role in rehabilitation following motor vehicle accidents. We understand the mechanisms involved in whiplash injury, and can provide a thorough assessment, evidence-based treatment, and develop specific self-management plans to return you to your normal Gold Coast life once again!


  • Stemper, B. D., Yoganandan, N., & Pintar, F. A. (2005). Effects of abnormal posture on capsular ligament elongations in a computational model subjected to whiplash loading. Journal of Biomechanics, 38(6), 1313-1323.
  • Sterling, et al. Pain, 2010; 150(1):22-28Whiplash Gold Coast