In the days after a car accident, you may be on high alert for any aches and pains in your body- this is smart, as many common car accident injuries won’t become apparent for days after they are sustained. This can be especially common with whiplash, a condition in which the neck is sprained or strained due to a heavy impact. With the help of a Conyers whiplash chiropractor, most cases of whiplash clear up completely within three months, but without proper treatment the condition can become chronic and cause additional issues. The best treatment options will depend on the severity of the injury, but there are universal steps you can take to help your whiplash heal properly.
At-Home Care Whiplash Treatment
If you are not experiencing many symptoms, or you cannot get to a chiropractor immediately, whiplash treatment can be done with some diligence and care at home. In the aftermath of an accident, you may experience a range of ache and pains that can be relieved with these same simple steps.
Ice and heat
Applying ice to any swollen or painful areas of the body is often helpful as the cold temperatures can close small blood vessels and prevent further swelling. Alternating with heat can provide pain relief and prevent over-icing an area.
It is not recommended that you keep the neck completely still or use a brace to treat whiplash, however you should still be cautious with your movements. Anything that exerts too much energy can worsen a condition, especially in the first days following your accident. If there is a certain motion that makes your pain worse, avoid that movement for the time being. Slow, cautious movements are more helpful as you regain mobility in the neck.
Over-the-counter pain relief
Common pain relievers like acetaminophen and NSAIDs can reduce pain in the initial window after your accident, as well as help reduce inflammation that may worsen in that time period. These are available at the store and are likely already in your home. While these do not require a prescription, be sure to carefully review the package to avoid any negative responses to the medication.
While you may be able to manage your symptoms at home, you should always be evaluated by a Conyers chiropractor following a car accident to rule out any serious, hidden issues. If you are experiencing whiplash for days, or not experiencing relief, this can be a sign that home care may not be sufficient for your case.
Medical Care for Treating Whiplash
If whiplash symptoms are severe to begin with or do not seem to be responding to time and care, medical care will be necessary to ensure proper healing is possible. Depending on the specialist you visit and the specifics of your whiplash, you may use any combination of medical techniques.
A trained physical therapist will be able to build a program that improves the neck’s strength and flexibility over time. This can also relieve stress on the spine that is causing pain. While you will have regular visits with a physical therapist, they will also provide a number of exercises you can do at home to help reduce pain and regain mobility.
A Conyers chiropractor is able to perform manual adjustments to the spine that have a positive impact on the symptoms of whiplash. By making sure the spine is properly aligned, the central nervous system will be better able to communicate throughout the body, leading to quicker healing, less pain, and an increased range of motion.
For severe pain, an injection of a cervical epidural steroid can reduce nerve and tissue inflammation that may be preventing healing and pain relief. Other injections can provide joint relief and help irritated muscle bundles that have resulted from a severe whiplash injury. These are typically used when other methods have not led to recovery.
Many of these medical treatments will be combined with continued rest, ice and heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain management. Most cases of whiplash are able to be completely alleviated when the proper measures are taken, and those that suffer from more chronic whiplash will still benefit from these options.
At AICA Conyers, our goal is to provide long-term relief from pain and prevent any permanent damage from occurring. Our team of multidisciplinary specialists is designed to combat injuries that result from a car accident, like whiplash. The Conyers chiropractors at AICA work with physical therapists, pain management specialists, and orthopedists who work together to design a plan that is best suited to your specific needs. If you are suffering from whiplash, contact us today to begin your path toward recovery.