Neck injuries or whiplash can be disruptive and painful, especially after an auto accident in which whiplash is the most common injury caused by rear end collisions. Studies say around 75% of whiplash patients experience symptoms for more than six months. Whiplash patients also can lose up to eight weeks of work. Depending on the severity of the injury, neck pain or whiplash can cause the following symptoms: Dizziness, fatigue, pain, weakness, numbness and tingling down the legs and arms, sleeplessness and headaches. Some or all of these symptoms may take weeks or even months before presenting themselves. Whiplash syndrome can cause all these symptoms to linger for months. But there are ways of treating neck pain after an auto accident. Experts say if following these easy, self-care steps can help speed up your recovery.
See Your Doctor, after any auto accident it’s always best to see your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor may well suggest using a neck brace (called a Cervical Collar) for 2 to 3 weeks along with pain medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, until the pain ebbs away. Cold Therapy, applying ice (either a bag of ice cubes or even a bag of frozen food) with a towel between the skin and the frozen item, to the neck for the first 24 hours will reduce inflammation. Try ice at 20 minute intervals while lying on one’s side. Heat Therapy, alternate by applying dry or moist heat to the area. This helps relax the muscles. Click here urgent care in okc.
Pain Relief, try normal painkillers and NSAIDS then consult your primary doctor if headaches, pain or stiffness don’t subside. Neck Exercises, turn the head so you can look over your right shoulder. Hold. Rest. Repeat looking over alternate shoulder. Rest. Repeat. Use a soft ball. First place the back of the head on the ball, resting on a wall. Try moving the ball in circles, or in figures of eight. Rest. Repeat. Try the same exercise, but now placing the ball between the forehead and the wall.
Support Neck During Sleep, WebMD suggests applying a small pillow beneath the nape of the neck to align the head with the neck and offer better support during sleep. Staying Active, until recently, doctors recommended lots of rest for those with neck injuries. But recent research out of the Harvard Medical School suggests the contrary. Now, experts say consistent movement and exercise will help resolve neck pain (along with shoulder pain) and speed up recovery considerably. Exercises targeting the neck and shoulders can help build strength in these areas along with accelerating recovery.
Chiropractor and Physical Therapist, in addition to seeking a consultation from your doctor, also asked for a recommendation to a physical therapist. Studies show chiropractic adjustments can also offer excellent relief for neck injuries. As with all injuries, consult your doctor if you experience numbness or tingling in your arms, if you experience continued pain after your accident or if neck pain radiates down the arms and legs.