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Lymphatic Drainage For Whiplash

After a car accident whiplash can be not only painful but potentially cause long-term problems. It is important to find the best treatment for whiplash. One tool for helping ease pain and heal injuries is manual lymphatic drainage. MLD is essentially painless and can be used as a treatment for whiplash.

What is Whiplash?

According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a neck injury caused by rapid and forceful back and forth movement of the neck. It is typically caused by car accidents but can also come from sports accidents, physical abuse, or falls. It can also be classified as a neck strain.

How Long Does Whiplash Last?

Whiplash can last a few weeks using treatment and exercise. Some people have long-term complications and chronic neck pain.

Symptoms of Whiplash

  • Neck Stiffness, Pain & Swelling

  • Dizziness

  • Loss of Range of Motion in the Neck

  • Tingling or Numbness in Arms

  • Worsening Pain with Neck Movement

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches at the Base of the Skill

  • Depression

  • Blurred Vision

  • Memory Problems

  • Tinnitus (Ear ringing)

  • Concentration issues

  • Disturbed Sleep

  • Irritable

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage for Whiplash Injury?

It is a gentle, rhythmic hands-on technique that moves fluid through the body. There are tiny lymph vessels under your skin. Using light "pumping" techniques a therapist can move your lymph through them, which carries away inflammation and brings down swelling. This promotes healing, causes blood flow, and helps overall immune function.

How Does it Work as a Treatment for Whiplash?

After an accident, your body will be inflamed. You will have swelling and inflammation around anywhere that is injured and maybe even bruising. Manual lymphatic drainage moves inflammation out, allowing swelling to go down. This helps with range of motion and eases pain. Generally, healing is accelerated as well. Increased blood flow can help clear bruising and increase circulation. Lymphatic massages also regulate your nervous system and can be really relaxing. Car accidents can be traumatic, so it is important to address your physical and mental needs after.

  • Pain relief

  • Accelerated healing

  • Increased circulation and blood flow

  • Decrease swelling

  • Decrease the time in the acute phase, allowing for more direct treatment sooner.

  • Nervous system regulation (Getting you out of fight or flight)

Is Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage Covered by PIP (Car accident insurance)?

Yes! Lymphatic drainage is considered massage and manual manipulation. It is covered under personal injury protection.

How is Lymph Massage done?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is done skin to skin while you are generally on a massage table. It is common to have pillows and blankets. A massage therapist will use gentle pumping like manipulation to move fluid out of the areas of injury. It is sometimes done as a full body, and sometimes just in a specific area. Generally, the neck and stomach are always part of the treatment if possible. Usually, a session is 60 minutes for a car accident. It is said to be very relaxing and a lot of people fall asleep.

What if the Area I am Hurt Cannot be Touched?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage does not have to be done directly on an injured area. It can be done on any approachable body area and still have a great effect on the injured area.

Interested in Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage for motor vehicle accident recovery and live in Portland Oregon? Call 503-719-5000 (I work out of Asha Wellness) or email me at for an appointment with Dani Allen. More information on car accident massage and using car insurance can be found here.


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