If you experience neck or back pain after an accident, you might have whiplash. This common condition affects three-million Americans each year, some of whom have to go through rehabilitation therapy to fully recover. While many whiplash cases will eventually resolve on their own, in some cases they can lead to long-term damage.
While the jury is still out on which treatment is the best way to assist in recovery from whiplash, there are a few steps that you can take to aid your body as it repairs itself.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash, which is also known as neck strain, results from tears in the neck muscles and tendons that occur after a rapid motion of the head. Whiplash is often associated with auto accidents, but any traumatic incident that causes the head to rock back and forth can cause it. Sports that involve physical contact between players are also a major cause of whiplash.
Much of the pain from whiplash occurs when small vessels in the neck are ruptured, allowing it to fill with fluid that causes swelling. As the neck has time to repair itself, this leaking will cease, and the swelling, along with the pain, should decrease and eventually go away.
Symptoms of Whiplash
While every case of whiplash is different, there are some common symptoms to watch for:
- Neck pain and tenderness
- Reduced range of movement
Whiplash won’t show up on a scan, so it needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. Therefore, it’s important to confirm that your pain is due to whiplash and not a more serious injury. If you are suffering symptoms of whiplash after an accident, a doctor may order an x-ray, a CT scan, and an MRI to rule out more serious damage to your neck as the cause of your pain.
Treatments for Whiplash
Many cases of whiplash can be treated through self-care at home by using the following treatments.
Refrain from activities that exacerbate your injury in the first few days after an accident. You may want to take a break from reading or working if it requires your head to be down often.
Your doctor may recommend gentle neck exercises to help alleviate stiffness in your neck. If they cause more pain, you may want to avoid doing them.
Ice or Heat
Applying ice or heat in 15-minute intervals, once an hour for ice and every two to three hours for heat, can help to reduce inflammation. Be careful not to sleep with an ice or heat pack on, as this can cause skin damage.
Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, to help alleviate pain and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation. You can take advantage of 90 Day supply of prescription medication to order yours online easily. Be sure to read the labels for any medication you take and follow their instructions for safe use.
Depending on the severity of your case, your doctor may recommend a collar for you to wear. This Is designed to help keep your neck stable in the days after your injury.
A whiplash injury can cause discomfort, pain, and a lower quality of life, which makes it vital to take steps to alleviate it. Depending on the severity of your whiplash, you may also miss work and incur financial losses.
If you’ve suffered a whiplash injury as the result of an accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. You can visit this website to speak to attorneys with over 40 years of experience if you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit.