Did you know that there are around 6 million car accidents every year in the United States? Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when your head is suddenly jolted backward and then forward, often due to a car accident or sports-related incident. The intense strain on the neck can cause a range of symptoms, including neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and dizziness.
Whiplash recovery can be a gradual process, there are several effective strategies and treatments that can help expedite healing. In our guide below, we will explore various approaches to aid in your recovery and get you back to a pain-free life. Read on to learn more.
Call in the Doctors
One of the first things you have to do is seek medical attention. A doctor will be able to evaluate how severe your injury is. Doctors also have the expertise to give you a proper diagnosis so that you can recover faster.
Professionals will probably recommend more tests like MRI scans and X-rays to make sure there are no underlying conditions. They will use these tests to evaluate properly.
Recovering from whiplash will also entail help from a physical therapist. Therapists are going to guide you through proper exercises to help strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles. They will also provide exercises to help you enhance your stability and improve your range of motion.
Depending on the severity of your whiplash they might employ heat or cold therapy, manual therapy, or electrical simulation. Everything will help promote healing, and it will also reduce pain.
It is important to look for whiplash injury compensation to help cover your physical therapy, especially in the event that the accident was not your fault.
Rest, Rest, Rest
When you first start recovering from a car accident you need to give your body the proper time to heal. If you don’t take the time to rest you will further injure your whiplash. This can lead to muscle weakness and stiffness.
You want to gently reintroduce gentle movements and not rush into your daily routine. Eventually you can slowly stretch and add light walking and light aerobic activities. This will help increase your flexibility and it will promote better blood flow.
There can be plenty of discomfort and pain associated with whiplash, which means that sometimes you will have to take pain medications to help relieve the pain. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help with pain management if the pain is not as severe.
You want to avoid relying on medication for the long term because it can lead to addictiveness. There are other therapies you can do in order to manage your pain. For example, you can look into massage therapy every week, acupuncture, or weekly chiropractic visits.
Muscle relaxants can also help you because whiplash equates to tight muscles. Relaxants will help alleviate tension and will also loosen neck muscles.
There are also devices such as braces and neck collars that a doctor or therapist can prescribe when you have severe whiplash. Support devices will help you stabilize your neck, and it will also limit movement, to help you avoid accidentally pulling your neck out of place.
Remember this is a short term solution that you do not want to become reliant on. Eventually you want to gradually reduce the use of support devices so that you can have proper muscle function.
Think About Posture
Something that you will have to keep in mind is your posture throughout your entire day. Having proper pasture will help alleviate the strain on your neck which will lead to faster recovery.
When you are sitting, doing an activity, and standing you want to be mindful of your posture. You want to use supportive pillows while you are sleeping to help you heal faster and to provide extra pain relief.
Once you are working again, if your job requires you to sit make sure you use ergonomic seats and desks. It is important that you can adjust your workstation setup.
Sometimes emotional anxiety and emotional stress can delay recovery and also increase the pain. You want to take the time to put your own self-care first along with stress reduction techniques while you are healing. Taking part in self-care such as gentle yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises is a great way to promote self-care, relaxation, and alleviate stress.
Also, get plenty of sleep each night and stay hydrated to help your body heal.
Do Not Rush
You want to wait for your doctor and therapist to give you the green light to gradually return to normal activities. Even though you might be at wits end resting and hanging out at home, you do not want to rush the process because it can delay your healing.
Take it slow and listen to your body. You don’t want to partake in any strenuous activities immediately or take part in high-impact activities. Doing so will overexert you and will prolong your healing process. Slowly increase your intensity and daily activities.
Ready to Tackle Whiplash Recovery?
Now that you have learned our top tips to get you feeling less pain after your whiplash recovery, you can follow all of our tips above. Recovering from whiplash will take patience, so make sure you listen to your doctor and therapist and get plenty of rest.
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