5 ways to reduce neck pain from whiplash
Like the name suggests, whiplash is an injury like none other – your head “whips” forward and back – too fast, too far, and in the end, far too painful. What can happen in the blink of an eye may have you blinking back tears of pain in the weeks that follow. Keep reading to find practical ways to minimize the painful effects of whiplash.
Rest – Withsome injuries, doctors recommend movement from the start. But with whiplash, it’s best to give yourself a short time to recuperate. Take the first day or two after the injury and limit your head and neck movements to only what is essential. Avoid intense sports or aerobics. After the first few days, the immediate swelling and irritation should start to go down, and doctors would encourage gentle movement from that point on. Doctors no longer recommend neck braces to treat whiplash because they now believe careful motion can aid in the healing process.
Medicine – Tylenol, Aleve, and Motrin – these over-the-counter options can all be helpful in managing the pain you experience from whiplash. Consider using these, especially at the beginning of the injury, to reduce the pain, soreness and stiffness. With lingering and chronic pain, it’s best to see a doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.
Ice it – Using cold packs is most beneficial at the onset of the injury. Wrap a rolled bag of ice or a cold pack in a light towel then place it on the affected area. After approximately 20 minutes, remove the ice and wait about 40 minutes to an hour before putting it back. Doing this for the first three days following injury will help reduce the inflammation and swelling.
Chiropractic care – Deciding to see a chiropractor is a step in the right direction. They can perform X-rays and other diagnostic tests to determine the extent of your injury. From that information, they can tailor their treatment for you specifically. After your initial consultation, the chiropractor should recommend a treatment plan for you, including how often you should visit for adjustments.
Therapy – Finally, having a physical therapist help you increase range of motion and neck strength is a great idea for those with chronic neck pain following a whiplash injury. This option is generally recommended by a primary care physician when other more conservative methods have not been very effective.
No one should live with chronic or debilitating pain. If these methods are not helpful for you, contact Laser Spine Institute for an initial consultation today!