Whiplash, an injury to the ligaments and the dons in the neck is caused when it is moved forwards, backwards and sideways, as a result of collision often resulting from car accidents.
The symptoms of whiplash may not be felt around 5-10 hours later after an accident, but if left untreated could get worse in the course of time. Whiplash may lead to neck pain, stiffness, tenderness, reduced neck movement and headache. Along with car accidents, reasons including blows to the head, particularly during physical activity or a slip, fall causing the head to jolt backwards can also cause whiplash.
Pain doctors Chicago designs medical treatment and a program depending on the severity of the condition. While severe neck injuries may require surgical intervention, less severe injuries are mostly limited to soft tissue injuries and accordingly the treatment are directed at symptom relief.
Whiplash patients may be recommended to use a neck brace or collar for additional support. However, they are to be used for a short time as long term use can actually weaken the muscles in the neck.
The prescribed treatment plan may include:
Analgesics painkillers to relieve the pain instantly.
Over-the-Counter pain (OTC) medications such as Paracetamol to treat mild neck pain.
In case of severe pain, regular use of Over-the-Counter pain medications may be recommended. Additionally, you may also be prescribed for a stronger medication such as codeine to provide increased pain relief.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen to reduce the pain and inflammation.
If the whiplash symptom continues for several weeks, patients may be recommended physiotherapy. The procedure involves a range of physical techniques to help restore movement to areas of the body following the injury.
In order to rehabilitate the injured muscles and spine, patients can perform stretching exercises to ease soreness, strengthen the affected area and quick recovery form whiplash and also ensures prevention of further complications.
Basic neck rotation:
With your arms at the sides and spine relaxed, sit or stand facing forward. Keep the shoulders and upper body still, face forward and turn your head to the left. Hold the stretch for two or three seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat the same on the right side and both rotations five times. Stretch further if you are able to. In case of discomfort or pain, stop doing it right away.
Anterior shoulder stretch:
The injury also affects the shoulders and upper back. Anterior shoulder stretch can help relieve tension in the shoulders and cervical spine and provide relief from back pain. Relaxing the neck and back, stand forward with arms placed at the sides. Now with the hands behind the back and lifted up, stretch the shoulder blades. Hold this position for five seconds. Repeat this two to three times. In order to counter the stretch, cross the right arm over the body and press the right arm gently into the chest. Pulse in the position for two or three times and repeat the same with the left arm.
The neck roll:
Stretch the neck each side and hold in each position (front, left, back, and right) for two to three seconds. Repeat this two or three time.