Whiplash Treatments That Can Help Your Neck Pain
When you think of whiplash, a car accident injury probably comes to mind. However, you can get whiplash in a variety of ways such as from a sports injury, falling, being shoved, a blow to the head, or even riding a roller coaster. Anything that causes a sudden thrust of your head to the front or back can cause whiplash, which is a muscle strain in your neck. If you're experiencing pain in your neck that gets worse when you move your head, you should be examined to see if you have whiplash. Here are some treatments that may help.
Ice Then Heat
For the first few days after your injury, it is best to apply ice to your neck rather than heat. Ice reduces swelling in the tissues of your neck. Less swelling means less pain, so ice can also help with pain relief. Heat is best applied a few days later when the swelling is gone. Heat stimulates blood flow, and the increased blood in your tissues helps speed healing. However, increased blood flow can also cause increased swelling and worsening of bruises. That's why it's best to hold off on using heat for a few days.
You can probably treat mild cases of whiplash at home, but if your pain doesn't get better in a few days, you should have your neck examined by a medical professional. Keep in mind, you may not even feel pain from whiplash for a couple of days after your injury. It's always best to be safe and have an examination when you experience neck pain after you've been in an accident or suffered from some sort of trauma.
A chiropractor can diagnose and treat your whiplash. You may need spinal adjustments or muscle stretching to help heal your condition. While you will need to rest initially, once healing is underway, your chiropractor will have you do exercises at home to strengthen and stretch the muscles in your neck. Wearing a foam collar or staying inactive for too long makes your neck muscles weaker and could slow down healing.
If you're having a lot of pain, your doctor may need to prescribe medications. Muscle relaxers help your neck muscles be less tense, which reduces pain. You might also receive anesthetic injections in your neck if your pain is severe. Injections are especially useful if pain holds you back from getting the most benefit out of your neck exercise sessions.
You'll probably need to limit your activities until your neck pain is better. You shouldn't participate in sports or other strenuous activities until your doctor says it is okay. If you have a physically demanding job, you might need to take off from work. Depending on the severity of your injury, it could take weeks until you can fully turn your head side to side without pain.
To learn more about whiplash treatment, contact a company like Contino Chiropractic Center.