The most common chronic neck pain condition I see in my West Hollywood sports chiropractic office is related to untreated or incompletely treated whiplash injuries. In cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) automobile accidents, the most common being rear-end collisions (a common occurrence in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills), the head is translated (accelerated) in one direction, usually forward, and then snapped back (decelerated) in the opposite direction. This can cause small micro-tears of the scalene muscles at the front of the neck, leading to inflammation, spasmodic guarding, and severe pain.

Far too many people fail to get their whiplash neck injuries treated properly following a motor vehicle accident. Either they don’t see a chiropractor at all, or the treating chiropractor (watch out for mills, people) neglects this important area, primarily the scalenes. It is not uncommon for me to see people with 10+ years chronic neck pain from the scar tissue and adhesions built up in this area.

Aside from effective chiropractic care to relieve the chronic neck pain caused by an auto accident, the scalene muscles need also be worked. But you can help your cause at home by doing the stretches outlined in the video below. The scalene muscles attach from the front of the cervical spine to the collar bone, so when tight, they can cause a forward head carriage, impingement on the nerves going into the arms (causing numbness and tingling), and neck pain.

Watch the video below for the best stretches for the scalene muscles to relieve pain from a whiplash neck injury.

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5 Responses to Stretches for Chronic Whiplash Neck Pain

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    I have had pain froma whiplash car wreck injury for about 2 years, it has subsided some but then 7 months ago I was swimming and I think did it again whipping my head around for a breath. How many days should I do the stretches for until I start feeling some results? I have done them for about 4 days now and initially felt a little tighter actually, but am feeling some of that “choking” feeling deep in my scalenes subside. Give it more time since I’ve been tight for so long?

  2. Avatar Krystal says:

    Hi, I had an incident last week where I was choking on an apple piece. It was lodged in my throat and I couldn’t breathe in or out to work it out. It was a miracle how it actually came out, however since then, my neck muscles are in severe pain. I just tried this exercise and it feels really good. I am concerned with making it worse by overextending it by accident. Any advice and input would be very appreciated, as it is very painful. Thanks.

    • Dr. Nick Campos Dr. Nick Campos says:

      Yes thank the Absolute for giving you a few more years of material existence, take not one breath for granted, and be conscious (focused) at every waking moment, including while you eat. That’s the take home lesson in my mind.

  3. Avatar neck pain Melbourne says:

    This is good video for people experience whiplash.

  4. Avatar Joann says:

    Wow! You like literally saved my life! I have terrible neck problems and have been feeling like I am choking for a few weeks. Lots of cervical symptoms, 3-4 herniation and broad based bone spurs at 4-5 and 5-6. I thought it was just GERD acting up. But after a week on Prevacid, it was only getting worse. I woke up stiff this morning and had vertigo, nausea, weak and general malaise, couldn’t breathe well and could barely think or form words or walk straight. it got so bad this afternoon, that I felt my windpipe crushing and I was wheezing. I used my asthma med, but it didn’t help. And pressure was building in my neck and head, and I felt I was starting to lose consciousness. My lips and tongue were going numb and I felt my face was blue. I panicked and looked up “choking and neck injuries” and I found this page. I carefully watched your video on the Scalene muscle stretches, and was afraid I’d make my condition worse, but thought, I gotta do something. So after doing the stretches over and over a few times, i started to feel better. After doing them some more, I stopped choking and felt the blood coming back into my face and head and I can think again! A bit more, and I kid you not, for the first time in what I can remember, I am breathing better than ever. Wow! oxygen! Wow! This is crazy! My own muscles were killing me! Thank you so much for your video. You saved my life. I went from being bed ridden, to running out and getting some things done. Amazing! Man, my neck feels all loose and limber now. LOL! Thank you! Thank you!

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