What is Whiplash (Motor Vehicle Accident) Associated Headaches in Brisbane?

Whiplash injuries commonly occur during a motor vehicle accident whereby the driver has been hit from the rear-end or a side impact. Whiplash can also occur from other injuries such as diving, sports related injuries or other associated injuries which has disturbed the neck. Whiplash is categorised as an acceleration and deceleration mechanism of energy transferred into the neck. The injury sustained usually results in a bony, muscular or ligamentous dysfunction typically in the cervical joints of the neck. 1

Whiplash injuries can cause mild to severe headaches and migraines depending on the extent of injury. Those with this injury may result in headaches and migraines on one side of the head in a focal point, or even both sides. Symptoms can spread down to the neck, shoulders, arms and upper back. During severe injuries those may experience neck tongue syndrome (NTS), whereby a significant trauma has disturbed the upper 3 cervical spine to the point of possible rupture to the ligaments and dislocation of the vertebrae. Those with NTS will report of numbness and tingling sensation to one half of their tongue, pain in the neck and head region. 2

Why do Whiplash (Motor Vehicle Accident) Associated Headaches cause Headaches?

Whiplash injuries in Brisbane can cause significant headaches and migraines. Due to the mechanism of a whiplash injury, the cervical spine is typically affected which results in a SENSITISED BRAINSTEM. Due the sensitivity of the brainstem, it results in the Trigemino-cervical nucleus to become affected, which causes pain in the head and neck to be perceived as a headache or migraine. Most often, trauma to the neck such as whiplash injuries can induce many different forms of headaches and migraines such as:

* Chronic Daily Headache

* Tension Type Headache

* Migraine Headache

* Hormonal Headache

* Menstrual Migraine

* Cluster Headache

* Cervicogenic Headache

* Sinus Headache

* Vertigo Cervical Headache

In fact, 50% of patients who see us report of some form of neck injury in the past, to precipitate their headaches and migraines.

At the Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinic™, we have seen many with whiplash associated headache injuries and use world-class techniques in assessing and treating the neck. A thorough examination of the upper cervical spine is initiated to determine the severity of your SENSITISED BRAINSTEM.

A strong emphasis to the ligaments of the neck is highly prioritised. The Alar and Transverse Ligaments, Tectorial Membrane, Dens and Odontoid are thoroughly examined to assess whether there has been a fracture or ligamentous rupture to these structures.

Once treatment commences we expect a significant improvement to occur rapidly in 90% of our patients with Whiplash Headaches and within the first 5 treatment consultation.

Imagine living a life free from headaches and migraines and saying goodbye to medications!

To gain your recovery today contact us on 1800 HEADACHE (toll free)

1800 43 23 22



1. Spitzer WO, Skovron ML, Salmi LR, et al. Scientific monograph of the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-Associated Disorders. Redefining whiplash and its management. Spine 1995;20(8S):1S-73S. PubMed Citation


2. Orrell RW, Marsden CD. The neck-tongue syndrome. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry


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