HOW TO TREAT WHIPLASH : Whiplash also called a neck sprain or strain, is an injury to your neck caused when your head is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward. The injury usually involves the muscles, discs, nerves, and tendons in your neck. This motion can injure bones in the spine, disks between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues of the neck.
Common causes of whiplash include
- Auto accidents. Rear-end collisions are a major cause of whiplash.
- Physical abuse or assault. Whiplash can occur if you are punched or shaken. It’s one of the injuries seen in shaken baby syndrome.
- Contact sports. Football tackles and other sports-related collisions can sometimes cause whiplash.
Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes pain medication and exercise. However, some people have chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within days of the injury, and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Shoulder pain
- Low back pain
- Pain in your arm or hand
- Numbness in your arm or hand
Some people also have:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
How To Treat Whiplash
Treatment of whiplash focuses on alleviating the pain and stiffness in the neck, as well as healing the damage done to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
The following treatments may help alleviate symptoms of whiplash:
Applying an ice pack immediately after the injury occurs, or as soon as possible, helps reduce swelling (inflammation). Wrap the ice in a towel or some protective barrier – do not apply ice directly to the skin. An ice pack session should last 10-30 minutes.
Patients should try to move their necks normally; it is important to do this under the directions of a qualified healthcare professional. In cases where symptoms are severe, the individual may have to completely rest the neck until the pain allows for movement.
When pain levels allow, the patient should exercise the neck gently so that it does not stiffen up. The neck should be moved slowly in each direction, gradually widening the range.
A qualified healthcare professional can teach the patient how to maintain a good upright posture, for example, keeping the back straight when walking, standing, or sitting; this can prevent neck pain and stiffness from getting worse. A firm pillow can help maintain good posture while sleeping. See a physical therapist for posture training and tips to reduce pain.
These may help ease muscle spasms. As muscle relaxants can cause drowsiness, most doctors advise their patients to take them at bedtime.
Osteopathy uses manipulation to treat back, neck, and sports injuries.
Soft foam collars used to be popular for whiplash injury treatment. However, immobilizing the neck for long periods may undermine recovery, because muscle bulk and strength is reduced. If a cervical collar is needed, it should usually be worn for no more than 3 hours at a time.
Effective Physical therapy
A physical therapist might use massage and manipulation, as well as recommending neck exercises. The physical therapist may also use ice, heat, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound to reduce pain.
We can help with this condition at Effective Physiotherapy and Fitness Clinic.
Book an appointment when you have any form of sprain, strain or dislocation.
Call +234 811 885 6060 or +234 909 860 4470
Visit us at No 2 D, Ajumgobia Close, opposite con oil, Kado Estate, Abuja, FCT