You’ve no doubt heard of whiplash, because it is referenced so much in movies and television that it has almost become a trope. If you have ever experienced whiplash, though, you know it is not something to be taken lightly. What, exactly, is whiplash, and what can be done to treat it? Here is a quick rundown on whiplash and how to handle it.
Simply put, whiplash is neck strain caused by a blow or impact that causes a person’s head to jerk forward or backward suddenly. This injury often occurs in auto accidents, especially when a vehicle is hit from behind. It can also happen to amateur and professional athletes, particularly those who play contact sports like football. Whiplash involves damage to the muscle or the tendons, which connect muscles to bones. Symptoms of whiplash include pain, decreased range of motion, and tightness in the neck. You may feel pain when you move your head from side to side or back and forth, or when you look over your shoulder. Whiplash can also cause tenderness or headaches at the base of the skull that radiate toward the forehead. Sometimes whiplash pain is immediate, but in some cases, it can take several hours or even days before your neck starts to hurt.
There are several different treatments used to treat whiplash. Each individual case of whiplash is different, so it is important to be treated by a highly qualified chiropractor, to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. Some of the treatments that might help your recovery from whiplash include:
- Ice: For the first two or three days after the injury, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes every three to four hours.
- Heat: After the two to three days of icing, the initial swelling should be down enough for moist heat to be an appropriate treatment. Use warm, wet towels or soak in a warm bath.
- Pain medications: Your doctor might recommend acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen. If over the counter medications do not work, your doctor might prescribe something stronger.
- A neck brace or collar: These add support, but are not meant to be used long-term, because they can weaken your neck muscles. Talk to your doctor to make sure this kind of support is recommended for you.
- Chiropractic treatments: These include manipulation, massage therapy, muscle stimulation, rehabilitation exercises, and ergonomic and lifestyle changes.
If you have been in an accident, you need effective medical treatment, including chiropractic care from a highly qualified chiropractor. At Auto Injury Treatment Centers, we are committed to providing patients with the attention and care they need for a swift recovery. Our chiropractors have decades of experience treating auto accident and work injury victims, and we offer the most comprehensive chiropractic treatment in Arizona. We have got 45 locations to serve you, and you do not have to have health insurance to come in for chiropractic care. Contact us through our website, call us at 602.253. 8888 or schedule an appointment online.