You wouldn’t want whiplash injuries to happen to you. They create damage to the soft tissues of your neck such as your neck muscles, its ligaments and its joints. Whiplash injuries are caused by automobile accidents, though some are caused by sports activities and other physical activities. The injury creates pain and swelling which persist even though the patient comes home from the hospital.
So what must a patient do at home to alleviate the residual symptoms of whiplash injury? Here are some remedies he or she can try out at home which can hasten his or her recovery:
Patients may try over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen to control mild to moderate pain associated with whiplash injuries. You have to clear the medications that you take with your doctor because some people may be allergic to some drugs.
Liniments that alleviate pain may also help, however, most of these liniments and balms can only give temporary relief.
Other pain relievers are ice or heat. Many people find that ice packs or heat packs can alleviate pain on the neck and upper back. Ice packs are ideally used during the early part of the recovery process to reduce inflammation. A pack of frozen corn or peas can take the place of an ice pack. The ice pack should be wrapped in a towel and applied to the front and back areas of the neck for not more than 20 minutes per hour for every 2 to 3 hours. Do not apply ice directly on your neck to prevent ice pack burn or frostbite.
Heat packs are useful in helping muscles relax before performing range-of-motion exercises. You can apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes per hour for every 2 to 3 hours.
Exercises can help restore the neck’s range of motion after whiplash injury. Your therapist or chiropractor will guide you in performing exercises that enhance range of motion. Range of motion exercises and stretching can alleviate pain and stiffness after whiplash injuries.
Pillows and Sleeping Habits
Do you know that pillows can actually aggravate pain or alleviate pain during whiplash injury recovery? Using the right pillow can actually reduce the discomfort that a patient feels after waking up. Neck pan can be alleviated by using water-based pillows. The ideal pillow for patients who have undergone whiplash injury is soft and has the capability of supporting the neck’s natural curve. This can help decrease neck pain and headache and can help encourage good sleep. Using the right pillow can actually reduce the discomfort that a patient feels after waking up.
Patients who have undergone whiplash injury should avoid sleeping on their stomachs because doing so can create further damage to injured tissues in the neck and can delay the healing process. The ideal sleeping position should be an upright sleeping position with the head and neck bent for a few degrees.
Massage can actually help if you suffer from muscle spasms for more than a week. Massage relaxes the muscles of the neck by dilating blood vessels that increase blood flow to the area. Consider taking a hot shower first before massaging the neck area to have a more relaxing experience.