The neck is highly susceptible to whiplash injury. Whiplash causes damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves of the neck, and can be extremely painful. Fortunately, whiplash treatment at home can help you find relief from the pain.
How Does Whiplash Cause Neck Pain?
Whiplash occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked forward or backward. This can happen in a car accident, during a fall, or even during contact sports. Whiplash is a type of neck sprain or strain, and can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Neck pain and stiffness. The neck muscles may feel tight, painful, or like they are in knots.
- Headaches. These can range from mild to severe and may be felt at the base of the skull.
- Dizziness. This can be caused by damage to the nerves in the neck.
- Fatigue. Whiplash can cause extreme fatigue and make it difficult to concentrate or perform everyday tasks.
How Long Does It Take the Neck Muscles to Recover From a Whiplash Injury?
Most people with whiplash will start to feel better within a few days or weeks. However, some people may experience symptoms for months or even years. In severe cases, whiplash can lead to permanent nerve damage.
How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?
Whiplash is diagnosed through a combination of a physical exam and symptoms report. Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. They will also perform a physical examination, testing your range of motion and checking for tenderness or pain in the neck and shoulders. In some cases, imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans, may be ordered to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms.
What Is Recommended for Whiplash Treatment at Home?
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, whiplash treatment at home may help. Here are a few things you can do to find relief:
- Rest. It is important to rest and avoid any activities that may aggravate your symptoms. This includes contact sports or any other activity that could cause further injury to the neck.
- Apply ice. Applying ice to the neck for 20 minutes at a time can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Exercise to promote a full range of motion. Gently stretching the neck muscles can help keep them from getting too tight. Place your hand against your head and push into the hand, allowing the head to "win" as you move through the full range of motion. Don't forget stretching, other strengthening exercises, and fine motor control exercises are important.
How Can a Chiropractor Help Treat Whiplash at Home?
A chiropractor can perform adjustments to the neck and spine, which can help relieve pain and restore range of motion.
Chiropractors can use manipulation, massage, ice, heat, and physiological therapeutics such as ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, and low-level laser therapies as part of a full whiplash treatment program. Your chiropractor will recommend the treatment approach that is best suited to your unique needs.
Your chiropractor may recommend cervical traction units. These units include inflatable collars, seated over the door traction units. The concept here is that you are stretching the neck apart to prevent scar tissue from gluing the joints together.
If you are experiencing whiplash symptoms, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Whiplash can often be resolved with conservative treatment, but if left untreated it can lead to chronic pain and disability. If you are in pain, don't wait to seek help. Contact a chiropractor today to learn more about whiplash treatment and how they can help you find relief.
Do You Need to Speak to a Brooklyn Park Chiropractor About At-Home Whiplash Treatments?
It's important to understand that you have a choice in whether you effectively treat and manage your injuries after an accident. If you or a family member has been in a car accident and requires treatment for whiplash pain, make sure to contact Soli Chiropractic or contact us through 763-251PAIN.com, your Brooklyn Park car accident specialist.