Chiropractic Meridian ID Can Whiplash Cause Concussion

Every day individuals suffer a whiplash injury and many continue to suffer with symptoms for weeks to months. Don’t continue to suffer, contact our Meridian ID chiropractor today.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Neck Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry Vision
  • Mood Changes
  • Poor Concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness In Arm Or Hand

Before we address whether or not a whiplash can cause a concussion, we will review some of the most common causes of whiplash.


Whiplash is caused by a forceful forward and backward movement. The most common cause is from a car accident, but other causes include sports, domestic abuse, and falls.

Following this injury, many seek out care from their primary care provider, chiropractic, or physical therapist. Depending on the treatment sought you may receive muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, adjustments, or muscle work.

Depending on the research 13-50% of those with whiplash haven’t recovered by a year. This begs the question, is whiplash only a soft tissue issue that only impacts the cervical musculature and ligaments?

This brings us to the main question, can whiplash cause concussion?


Simply put the answer is yes, but let’s break this down.

Whiplash has varying degrees of injury. For example, a minor injury will cause neck pain and headaches. A moderate to severe injury will cause dizziness, blurriness, word-finding issues, problems with concentration, and numbness or tingling in the arm and hands in addition to neck pain and headaches. If you’ve searched for symptoms of concussion, then you have probably realized all of those symptoms except numbness and tingling are specifically listed.

So why does this occur? The brain is tied to the spinal cord which runs through the cervical spine. When there is an abrupt forward and backward motion this may cause the brain to slosh back and forth which may injure different parts of the brain.


Now that you understand that there is a lot of overlap between whiplash and concussion. It isn’t sufficient to have only evaluate for one, but you should have both evaluated.

Here are some of the things that should be evaluated:

  • Cervical Pain & Range Of Motion
  • Sensation
  • Reflexes
  • Balance
  • Oculomotor Function
  • Cognition

Most individuals I talk to, have never had most of these areas evaluated. One of the most common things I see in my office is someone who has been dealing with neck pain, headaches, brain fog, word-finding issues, and mood changes that have persisted since a car accident that occurred 3-5 years ago. They say they were diagnosed with whiplash but only had cared for their neck and accepted they weren’t going to fully get better.


By now you have likely gathered that whiplash is often more than a soft tissue injury and often includes neurological involvement.

Our approach involves evaluating both the musculoskeletal and neurological systems. Beyond that, if there is value in obtaining labs we will do that as well. With this approach, we have seen many individuals who struggled with prolonged symptoms for years finally feel like themselves again.


  • Biendara, J., & Otte, A. (2017). Whiplash Syndrome- a disorder of the brain?. Hellenic journal of nuclear medicine, 20(2), 110–112.
  • Gil, C., & Decq, P. (2021). How similar are whiplash and mild traumatic brain injury? A systematic review. Neuro-Chirurgie, 67(3), 238–243.