Best Exercises for Whiplash Pain Recovery

November 11, 2016


Health and Recovery


Richard Greenwood

Whiplash symptoms after a car accident can have a big impact on daily life including pain, reduced mobility and trouble sleeping. While rest is important, it is also crucial to maintain mobility in the neck and reduce tensions that can exacerbate neck, shoulder and back pain from whiplash.

If you are suffering from whiplash injury symptoms after a car accident then you should always seek expert medical advice and complete recommended physical therapy such as physio and chiro.

You can also seek to reduce the pain and hasten recovery by doing gentle neck stretches and exercises. Below is a collection of the top stretches and exercises recommended by physical therapists for whiplash recovery.

‘How to’ Youtube videos are provided for each exercise and all are designed to be done at home with no special equipment required.

Stretches for whiplash

Chin tucks

The chin tuck is a simple postural exercise that can be done repetitively throughout the day. You can even do this one while sitting at work, as a passenger in a car or while watching TV. Neck is becoming elongated.

This exercise helps keep your head in alignment and improves posture.

Video length: 1.5 mins.

Shoulder blade squeezes

Leading physio website, PhysioAdvisor recommends shoulder blade squeezes for whiplash pain reduction. This exercise helps relieve a lot of tension for shoulder blades that can get very tight & painful with whiplash.

  • Repeat 10 times per session - will take approx 3 mins per session.
  • Do 3-5 sessions daily.

Video length: 14 seconds.


Neck rotation

This simple exercise helps improve rotation and mobility in your neck. Doing this exercises will warm up the neck muscles and help to relieve tension.

  • Repeat 3-5 times per session
  • Can be done multiple times per day

Video length: 1 min approx 


Anterior shoulder stretch

This is a nice and easy exercises that you do during the day to relieve your shoulder muscles, improve posture and reduce pain.

  • Repeat 3-5 times per session on each shoulder
  • Can be done multiple times per day

Video length: 1 min approx

Sternocleomastoid stretch


This one is a bit of a mouthful to say but the exercise is easy. The sternocleomastoid muscle (SCM) is one of the largest neck muscles and sudden movements such as whiplash in a car accident can cause injury. The muscle is primarily used for twisting the head from side to side. Issues with this muscle after a car accident car lead to reduced range of motion in the neck. Gentle stretches can help warm the muscle up and increase the range of motion. Image: Wikipedia.

  • Repeat 3-5 times per session
  • Can be done multiple times per day

Video length: 1 min approx 


Whiplash and neck pain home workouts

The first section has highlighted some of the specific stretches and exercises to help with whiplash pain. If you want to mix things up with a gentle workout then these videos may be helpful.

5 Min neck pain stretches and exercises

American physical therapist & Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor Jo, provides this well explained 5 minute exercise session with a variety of stretches designed to ease neck pain.


Yoga to ease whiplash pain

Gentle Yoga is highly recommended for easing whiplash pain. You don't need to be a bendy Yoga guru or have any equipment for these simple but effective Yoga exercises designed to ease neck pain found after whiplash.

3 Stretches in 3 mins with Tara Styles

World renowned Yoga expert Tar Styles demonstrates three effective yoga stretches in this short three minute video. 


15 Mins of Yoga Stretches to Ease Neck & Shoulder Pain with Jen Hilman 


Getting help

Whiplash symptoms when severe can be a long term condition without the right treatment. Make sure you seek professional medical advice and try to complete a thorough course of physical therapy. Don't forget, if you were not the driver of the 'at-fault' vehicle then you may be eligible to claim medical and rehab costs through the 'at-fault' drivers CTP insurance.

Richard Greenwood

Marketing Manager at Smith's Lawyers. Advocate for road safety and fan of technology that makes the roads or workplaces safer.