Whiplash is basically the term used to describe various neck and head injuries that have resulted from the abrupt acceleration and deceleration mechanism of the transfer of energy to the neck. Common symptoms include pain, tenderness, stiffness, as well as reduced range of motion.
It is typically associated with auto accidents, most particularly rear-end collisions, but virtually any blow, provided that it’s forceful enough could cause whiplash.
How is whiplash treated?
Treatment would depend on your specific symptoms, but it’s immensely vital to keep in mind that every individual heals differently and that employing the wrong treatment plan could actually prolong the healing time and worsen the condition.
Most importantly, since whiplash is a condition mainly affecting the neck and spine, patients must undergo thorough therapy and treatment with an experienced physiotherapist’s supervision, warns a top pain management specialist in Salt Lake City.
Below are common whiplash therapy options your therapist might recommend:
Ice and Heat
Following your whiplash injury and for the first couple of days, apply ice (ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel) to the affected area in 5 to 10-minute intervals to minimize swelling and inflammation.
Do this for Two to Three Days
On the fourth day, apply heat to the affected area to alleviate pain and tenderness.
Massage, ultrasound, and manipulations might offer pain relief and comfort, while specific exercises could strengthen the muscles in the neck and speed up healing.
You might also have to learn proper posture and implement ergonomic principles into your everyday life. Do note that all these must be performed under your physiotherapist’s supervision to prevent further injury.
Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (OTC NSAIDs), including Aleve and Advil, can manage pain. If these OTC painkillers don’t work, you might be prescribed stronger prescription pain medications.
Ultimately, the prime goal of whiplash therapy is to aid in minimizing muscle spasms, promote healing of the injury, boosting blood circulation, and prevent complications, most notably, chronic whiplash.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your treatment might include several or all of the abovementioned treatments. With this in mind, consult an experienced physiotherapist in order that you could start your therapy as early as possible.