Whiplash and other neck injuries are among the most common injuries people experience from car accidents. They’re caused when a sudden sharp motion of the head results in the tearing or muscles, or other soft tissue damage. It can happen as easily, especially in rear end collisions.
So if you become a victim of whiplash, what should you do and how should you seek treatment? In addition to seeking advice from legal professionals like Sinnamon Lawyers , an initial medical assessment should be arranged as soon as possible. Based upon this assessment you may be recommended the following treatments.
1. Ice Packs
In the period right after the injury it’s important to reduce swelling. Applying wrapped ice packs at the site of the pain for 20-30 minutes will help to numb the area and reduce pain and swelling. This should be repeated every 3-4 hours for the first 3-4 days after the injury taking place.
2. Chiropractic and Physio Treatment
A chiropractor can use a range of muscle relaxation and stimulation techniques to help restore movement and correct unhelpful movement patterns in the neck. Other spinal manipulations called adjustments may be used to help improve mobilisation of areas where excess tension is held. Heat may be applied and other muscle relaxation techniques from a physiotherapist may be recommended.
3. Pain Relief Medications
While pain relief medications won’t speed up the healing process, they will provide some much needed relief from the pain related symptoms caused by whiplash. Based on the level of pain and the severity of the injury, different levels of painkillers may be recommended. These can range from ibuprofen and anti-inflammatory drugs, to prescription-only painkillers.
4. Physical Therapy
It’s important to continue to move your neck after experiencing whiplash. While this might seem counterintuitive, a range of physical therapy exercises will help keep the joints in the neck mobile and make for a faster recovery. Resting your neck for too long can extend the recovery process. It’s essential for regular physical therapy techniques to be included in any treatment plan, helping to strengthen the muscles surrounding the head and neck.
5. Self Care Treatments
To avoid ongoing strain to the body, spine and neck, a GP, physiotherapist or chiropractor may provide some lifestyle and ergonomic recommendations. These will allow you to move more freely and reduce the chance of experiencing neck related pain in the future.
Making lifestyle changes to your sleep, work and travel habits can help to lessen the effects of whiplash. Other non-traditional methods including massage and acupuncture may be useful to improve circulation and blood flow around the affected area.
While ice packs and pain relief medications can provide much needed pain relief for whiplash sufferers, self care exercises are among the most important measures a patient can take to restore movement and promote healing in the weeks after a whiplash injury. Depending on the site of the pain, and the extent of the injury, a medical professional will explain the best course of action to take to get back on the road to recovery after a whiplash injury.