How to Treat Whiplash?
Whiplash is an injury commonly seen in car accidents, but any sudden movement or impact that causes your head to go back or forward may produce this neck strain, stretching and tearing the muscles and tendons in your neck. It is important to know how to treat whiplash correctly, neck injuries are serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
As mentioned above a neck strain or whiplash not only happens in car accidents, it could also happen in contact sports, riding a bumper car, or any impact causing this jolt to your neck. Among its symptoms are tightness, little motion range, tenderness, headaches and pain in the entire area.
Aside from visiting a doctor or a chiropractor to guarantee a correct healing process here are some tips on how to treat whiplash:
- At home before bedtime, rest your neck on a towel log (roll a towel to create a log) and place it behind your neck as you lay down for 15 to 20 minutes helping the neck to get back to its correct “C” shape alignment.
- Cold Therapy. Apply ice or a cold pack on the injury area for 20 to 30 minutes right after the injury and then every 4 hours to reduce any inflammation.
- Add support to your neck with a brace or collar. These are usually recommended for injuries like this but for short periods of time since they could worsen the injury by weakening the neck muscles.
- After 3 days of cold therapy you can start applying hot packs or take warm baths to relax the muscles in your neck.
- TENS Therapy has also proven to be successful in healing whiplash. Once the swelling has been controlled with the cold/hot therapy, place the four electrodes surrounding the area where it hurts the most, hopefully in a square shape, check this infographic for a better view of this explanation. The time recommended it normally around 30 minutes.
- Painkillers and analgesics to help reduce the pain and swelling are ibuprofen and naproxen. Use them as recommended by your doctor.
Be sure to check the amount of period and intervals of any of these treatments with a specialist for a better and fast relief. Please note I am no doctor and these tips were gathered from several medical experts, however it is important to always check with your healthcare provider first to be sure these procedures are right for you.