Whiplash neck exercises and videos

This guide lists exercises that people with whiplash can do to help in their recovery. See the Injury Advice Center for more information on whiplash recovery.

When you are performing the exercises, stop and contact your doctor or therapist if you notice:

  • dizziness, light headedness, blurred vision, fainting or disorientation
  • sudden pain shooting down your arm, or numbness or weakness in your arm or hand
  • unusually severe neck pain, and/or
  • that exercises consistently produce a headache, which persists.

1. Overview

These exercises are designed to restore the movement and muscle control around your neck and to reduce unnecessary postural strain and muscle pain.

For each exercise:

  • move smoothly and slowly, without sudden jerks; the key is precision and control
  • keep your mouth and jaw relaxed; keep your lips together, teeth slightly apart and let your tongue rest on the roof of your mouth
  • gently hold your shoulders back and down so that they are relaxed while you are doing all exercises (see posture correction exercise, exercise 4)
  • in movement exercises, try to move the same distance to each side. If one side is stiffer, move gently into the stiffness. Move to that direction a little more often
  • expect some discomfort, but remember exercises should not cause severe pain.