Proper treatment through pain alleviation, physiotherapy, and chiropractic adjustment hasten your recovery from a whiplash injury. A whiplash injury or neck strain makes it difficult for you to move your neck and shoulders due to pain, tenderness, and tightness. The condition also causes headaches that radiate from your nape to forehead.
An intense and sudden forward, backward, or sideward motion of your neck in a car accident, sports activity, or any traumatic event can stretch and damage its tendons and lead to a whiplash injury. Depending on how severe your trauma is, recovery often takes a few days, several weeks, and in rare cases, years. So whether you will be getting treatment for whiplash injury in Layton, Utah or The Woodlands, Texas, look for a wellness clinic that with certified medical practitioners.
Reducing pain and inflammation
The first step is to deal with pain and inflammation by applying 15-minute cold packs every three to four hours in the first 48 to 72 hours after sustaining injury. Beyond 72 hours, switch to a hot compress.
To help manage the pain, your doctor may suggest over-the-counter drugs or prescription drugs. And during therapy, she may also give you an injection to lessen pain.
You can also try wearing a foam collar or neck brace to limit painful neck movements. But because this can interfere with your recovery, it’s best to do so only in the first 72 hours, or limit it to three hours per day for one week.
Restoring range of movement
Once the swelling and pain is lessened, you can gradually increase your range of motion in the neck and shoulders with the help of movement therapies.
Slowly move your neck from side to side and front to back only as far as what’s comfortable. Be careful not to bend or stretch too far. Too much too soon may create permanent injury.
Treating whiplash injury through therapy
Chiropractic treatment promotes self healing in your body through interventions that correct its alignment. This mode of treatment is not limited to spinal adjustments; it also combines bone adjustments with soft tissue therapy for tendons and ligaments.
Some techniques are instrument-assisted. Others use manual stretching, massage, and other techniques that could provide you with a holistic approach to healing.
Physiotherapy helps your muscles and nerves recover faster with the use of targeted and gentle exercises for your neck and shoulders. Although neck pain is expected to heal on its own, performing these exercises given by a physiotherapist will help your muscles heal faster.
Like chiropractors, physiotherapists sometimes combine their therapy with other techniques. To stimulate circulation, a physiotherapist may apply mild electric current to your skin using a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to relieve pain and release endorphins.
A whiplash injury could occur from any activity that places stress on your neck. Whether you were in a fender bender or you suffered a blow to the head from playing contact sports, seek medical attention right away. Immediate diagnosis leads to better treatment. A typical whiplash trauma heals in a matter of days. But if you’re dealing with persistent whiplash pain, chiropractic treatment and physiotherapy may speed up your healing.