Treating your Whiplash Injury After Your Accident
Whiplash is a strain in the neck region that often occurs when you’re involved in a vehicle accident. As the head is forced both forward and backward, the motion places stress on the spine with the speedy movements. Whether your pain is mild or severe following an accident, treatment is a must to prevent more serious injuries such as pinched nerves, ruptured ligaments, nerve damage and hematomas.
You can provide a healthy environment for your family to live and grow up in, but accidents can still happen. No matter who is at fault for a vehicle accident, whiplash is a condition that occurs when the head moves rapidly forward and back upon impact. You may also experience whiplash resulting from an amusement park ride, sports related injury or physical altercation. Symptoms can take up to 24 hours to appear after the accident. Unfortunately, the stiffness, neck pain, blurred vision, dizziness and weariness can last dependent on the severity of the injury. Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin and Tylenol are usually taken to alleviate symptoms and reduce pain. You may also find balms, ointments and lotions excellent at relieving the soreness.
Seek Immediate Assistance from the Pain Experts
Your insurance company and law enforcement official are two contacts you need to make after an accident. If the injuries are severe, you need to seek medical assistance to prevent serious long-term damage. Organizations like Back Pain Centers of America may be able to help you find and evaluate treatment options for whiplash to ease your pain. Simple methods such as prescription medications, corticosteroid injections, gentle stretching and over-the-counter pain relievers may relieve symptoms. It may also be necessary for the facility to perform an MRI, CT scan or other specialized tests to finalize the proper diagnosis. If the injury is serious, surgery may be necessary to combat the pain.
Physical therapy is a positive treatment method for people who suffer from whiplash. The massage therapy is performed by a licensed expert who has the schooling to understand the appropriate muscles that will aid in locating the tension and stiffness. As the soft tissue is worked, it can bring greater blood flow to areas that have been damaged and left sore after an accident. The movements can also ease other symptoms such as headaches and dizziness. Essential oils may also be used to reduce inflammation and neck pain.
If you’re looking to go the non-traditional route, there are alternative treatment options available to deal with whiplash. Acupuncture works using needles that are applied to various areas of the skin. While some may fear needles, they are super thin and can provide great relief from neck pain in just a few sessions. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses a device with a mild electrical stimulant to the injured areas of the body. Using a battery powered instrument similar in size to a small radio, the electrodes have been proven instrumental with patients who have experienced long-term neck pain caused by whiplash.
Brace or Cervical Collar
A car accident can be a traumatic experience both mentally and physically. If the parties in your vehicle were injured, you may suffer from mental trauma every time you step behind the wheel due to the flashbacks. You may also experience physical ailments such as whiplash. While some cases may last throughout the week, long-term injuries can cause headaches and neck pain for years after the incident. If you’re finding it challenging to deal with the pain, a cervical collar keeps your neck in place as you recover from your whiplash injury. Although it’s ok to wear daily after the accident to aid in your recovery, you don’t want to keep it on longer than three to four hours in one sitting.
Whiplash treatments are relatively simple and most symptoms can clear up within a few weeks. But before you make your own diagnosis, you want to consult with a physician or pain specialist. After they perform a series of tests, they’ll be able to ascertain the extent of your whiplash and find a proper diagnosis to treat your neck pain.