Treatments That Might Help Your Whiplash Injury Heal

Posted on: 25 July 2017

A whiplash injury can cause quite a bit of neck pain. You could be in pain immediately or the pain may not start until hours later. Each case of whiplash is different. The degree of your injury and the length of your recovery depend on how badly the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in your neck are injured and on the general condition of your neck and spine before the accident. It could take several weeks to completely heal. These are some treatments you can consider to help speed healing and relieve pain.

Use Ice To Reduce Swelling

Apply ice right after the injury. Ice slows down the swelling response so your neck is less stiff and sore. Wrap the ice in a towel before applying it to your neck so you don't burn your skin. Apply it for several minutes at a time a few times each day to get the best results. After a couple of days when the swelling is gone, alternate ice with heat. Heat helps relieve pain by relaxing muscles and improving blood flow to the injured tissues.

Talk To Your Doctor About Medications

You should see a doctor as soon as you can after your injury, especially if you're in a lot of pain. The pain from whiplash can be intense and flare up every time you turn your head. You might need pain killers, anti-inflammatory medication, or muscle relaxers. Over-the-counter medication may be enough to help or you might need prescription drugs. Even if you choose over-the-counter medications, you should clear taking them with your doctor first if you also take other prescription medications.

Rest Initially, Then Stay Active

Your doctor may suggest you rest for a day or two after your injury and maybe even wear a foam neck collar. However, you don't want to limit neck movement for too long or your neck muscles get weak and you're at risk of further injury. Your doctor will advise you on the length of time you should rest and then what kind of activity is safe for you to undertake once you become mobile again.

Undergo Whiplash Treatments

There are a variety of treatments you can try for whiplash. Massage therapy can help relax muscle knots and increase circulation in damaged tissues. Physical therapy improves range of motion in your neck through stretching and strengthening exercises. Chiropractic treatments might help too by aligning your neck and spine to relieve strain and pain. Other treatments include ultrasound therapy as well as TENS therapy and radiofrequency treatments that help block pain signals.

When you're recovering from a whiplash, you don't want to resume strenuous activities too soon. When your tendons or muscles have small tears in them, they are weak and at risk of further injury. While whiplash injuries are often associated with car accidents, they can also happen when playing sports or when you trip and fall, so it's important to find a balance between staying active and protecting your neck from further injury.