What is the best treatment for whiplash?

Paramedic placing a cervical collar to an injured man from car accident

When you have an automobile accident or something that causes your body to jar violently, you may have a painful condition known as whiplash. Whiplash is a painful neck injury that can occur when the head is jerked backward and forward. The injury can be either severe or mild, but it always involves pain. Keep reading for the best tips on what to do if you suffer from whiplash.

Mild Whiplash

If you suffer whiplash that is so minor you do not think it is necessary to seek medical attention, you can do a lot to ease your pain and prevent symptoms from becoming worse. The first thing you want to do is apply either a hot or cold compress, and keep the temperature steady by changing it every 15 minutes or so. Heat, when applied to the afflicted area will make the muscles more pliable and work out the knots caused by the whiplash.

Cold, in a similar fashion, will make the muscles contract and will be beneficial. While you are changing the temperature, it is also a good idea to take your choice of over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, such as Advil or Motrin IB.

These can help ease some of the pain caused by whiplash and make the muscles not as inflamed, and so easier to work with. Once the muscles are softened, a deep, invigorating massage is recommended, but if it is too deep, that may cause even greater pain.

Moderate whiplash

If you suffer whiplash that is a little more pronounced than a mild case, but still not serious enough to go to the emergency room, it is likely a moderate case. The treatment for a moderate case of whiplash is much the same as treating a mild case, but you want to be more assiduous with the care.

Change the compresses more frequently, and seek out more frequent massages. If you want to take more ibuprofen, it is best to speak to your doctor beforehand. Ibuprofen can have deleterious effects on your kidneys if ingested in large quantities.

Severe Whiplash

Many cases of whiplash that start out as mild or moderate ones often progress into a more severe form of whiplash. If you have been religiously applying hot or cold compresses, taking the appropriate dosage of over the counter pain medications and you still feel like something is bothering you, it is best to make your way to your local emergency room.

Many doctors who see a lot of whiplash sufferers recommend that they complete a round of physical therapy, or may even prescribe them prescription painkillers. It is still advised to continue with treatment at home, though. In general, the injuries that result in whiplash will be healed within 6 weeks, but there is always the odd case where a survivor may still feel some lingering pain years on.

Whiplash usually occurs as a result of an auto accident, and you should try to treat it right away. Neck injuries can seriously hamper your quality of life, so they are best not to be left.

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