What to Do for Whiplash After a Car Accident
If you have whiplash, you might feel like the symptoms will never go away. Fortunately, the pain typically only lasts for a few days to three months. You can accelerate the healing process by following some steps if you have whiplash.
Find out what to do for whiplash after a car accident so that you can speed up the healing process.
Visit An Experienced Doctor Near You
First, you need to visit a multi-specialty medical clinic to assess your injury. Sometimes, people think they have whiplash, only to find out the injury is much more serious. Make an appointment as soon as the symptoms appear. Keep in mind that it can take 24 hours or more to experience symptoms.
Ice the Injury
Whiplash causes swelling in the neck. That makes the injury painful and reduces your range of motion. Apply ice every 3-4 hours for the first three days. You’ll want to ice the injury for 15 minutes a time. Make sure you wrap the ice in a cloth so you don’t hurt your skin.
You’ll also want to apply heat to the injured neck. Heat loosens tight muscles, making it easier to move. While some people take warm baths, others use heating pads. Use the system that works best for you, so you can get much-needed relief.
Take Over-the-counter Medicine
You can reduce pain and swelling by taking over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include Advil®, Motrin®, and Aleve®. You don’t want to use these medications for a prolonged period of time due to the side effects, though. If you are still in pain after a few days after suffering whiplash, contact your doctor to explore your other options.
Exercise Your Neck
You also need to do exercises to treat your neck. Exercise will improve your range of motion and help your neck heal. Your doctor will provide you with various exercises that might include rolling your shoulders, moving your neck forward and backward, and tilting your head from one side to the other. You should feel a stretch when you do these exercises, but they should not hurt.
Undergo Another Evaluation
If your accident was three months or longer ago and you’re still in pain, you need to go back to an auto injury doctor. While rare, some people experience long-term complications from whiplash. Your doctor can create a treatment protocol to help you manage those symptoms.
You’re more likely to need follow-up care if your whiplash caused severe pain that developed immediately following the accident. Also, if your whiplash is accompanied by shooting pain in your fingers or arms and neurological symptoms, you’re more likely to have a long-term issue.
Don’t Struggle With Whiplash Yourself
It’s always a good idea to get evaluated after a car accident. You never know what injuries might be hiding under the surface. Even if you think you just have whiplash, visit an experienced auto injury doctor at a multi-specialty medical clinic and get checked out. Then, your doctor can also help you manage your whiplash symptoms, whether they are mild or significant.
Our staff is experienced in treating auto accident-related injuries and includes the following medical specialists: orthopedics, neurology, pain management, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and more. We accept no-fault insurance, workers’ compensation, medical liens, and major medical plans.
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