What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked forward or backward. The symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Whiplash can also cause pinched nerves in your neck. If you have whiplash, it's important to get treatment right away. There are several effective treatments and with proper care, most people recover fully within a few months.
Here are some tips for a successful recovery from whiplash:
Applying ice to your neck is one of the most effective ways to reduce pain and swelling from whiplash. Ice should be applied for 15-20 minutes at a time, every 3-4 hours for the first 2-3 days after your injury. You can use a cold pack or put ice cubes in a plastic bag wrapped in a thin towel.
See a Doctor
It's important to see a doctor as soon as possible after the injury. A doctor can help diagnose your condition, document it for insurance purposes, and prescribe medication to help relieve pain. However, these medications may not be enough to rid your whiplash symptoms, as the damage to your neck is still there.
Seeing a spine and neck specialist will help you gain guidance on other treatment options, including:
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy can be very helpful in treating whiplash. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles in your neck.
- Massage therapy: Massage therapy can also be helpful in treating whiplash. A massage therapist can help loosen tight muscles and improve circulation in the area.
- Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care may also be helpful in treating whiplash. A chiropractor can realign the spine and help relieve pain.
Get Plenty of Rest
Whether caused by a traumatic car accident or a sudden slip and fall, it's important to rest and avoid strenuous activity immediately after injuring your neck. This will help reduce inflammation and pain. After you see a doctor, you will learn when you’re cleared to return to work and continue daily activities if necessary.
Treating Your Whiplash at Comprehensive Spine Institute
With proper care, most people recover fully from whiplash within a few months. However, some people may experience chronic neck pain or other long-term problems. If you are still experiencing symptoms after a few months, it's important to talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
If you’re recovering from whiplash, book a consultation with one of our specialists at Comprehensive Spine Institute to talk about your treatment options. To schedule a consultation at your nearest Comprehensive Spine Institute location, visit our website.