If you’ve been in a car accident, you know how much of a pain whiplash can be. Studies show that car accidents are one of the top reasons for whiplash, with over 3 million cases reported in the United States each year. Whiplash is caused when your head is suddenly and forcefully jerked forward or backward, which damages the muscles and ligaments in your neck. In some cases, whiplash can also lead to herniated disks or nerve damage.
While whiplash can be a serious injury, there are fortunately a few things you can do to help ease the pain and start on your road to recovery. Here are 4 steps to follow if you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash.
Talk to Your Doctor about Pain Medication
The first step is to talk to your doctor about what pain medication options are available to you. Depending on the severity of your whiplash, over-the-counter medications may not be enough to help with the pain. Your doctor will be able to prescribe stronger medication if necessary. Additionally, they may also recommend physical therapy or other treatments depending on your individual case.
Apply Ice or Heat Packs
Applying ice or heat packs is a simple but effective way to reduce inflammation and ease pain. For best results, apply ice for 20 minutes at a time every few hours for the first 2-3 days after your accident. After that, you can switch to heat packs for 20 minutes at a time every few hours. You can also alternate between ice and heat if you find that one provides more relief than the other. Just be sure not to apply ice directly to your skin—wrap it in a thin towel first—and do not use heat if your skin is bruised or broken.
See a Chiropractor
A car accident chiropractor can help adjust your spine and relieve the pain and stiffness associated with whiplash. Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when your head is suddenly jerked forward or backward. This can damage the bones, muscles, and ligaments in your neck. A car accident chiropractor will use a variety of techniques to realign your spine and help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with whiplash. Chiropractic care can also help to improve range of motion and flexibility in your neck. If you have been in a car accident, it is important to see a car accident chiropractor as soon as possible to begin treatment and start on the road to recovery.
Get Plenty of Rest
It’s important to get plenty of rest when you’re healing from an injury like whiplash. Avoiding strenuous activity and getting regular sleep will help your body recover more quickly. Taking short naps throughout the day can also be beneficial. If you have trouble sleeping due to pain, talk to your doctor about additional medication options that can help you get the rest you need.
Whiplash can be a painful and debilitating injury, but there are fortunately a few things you can do to ease the pain and help with your recovery process. Talk to your doctor about what treatment options are available, apply ice or heat packs as needed, see a chiropractor, and make sure to get plenty of rest. Following these steps will help ensure that you heal from whiplash as quickly as possible and get back to your normal routine soon!