How Do You Treat Whiplash?
Whiplash is usually caused when your neck experiences high impact from behind while in a stationary position. This puts tremendous strain on the neck muscles and the spine due to the sudden impact and the forward thrust of the car seat on the neck.
Signs of whiplash
The signs of whiplash are as common as the condition itself which is why it gets easily ignored by patients. These include:
Common symptoms related to whiplash may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Shoulder pain and stiffness
- Jaw pain
- Arm pain
- Arm weakness
- Visual disturbances
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Back pain
In severe and chronic cases of whiplash symptoms may include:
- Drug dependency
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome
How to recover from whiplash
In order to answer the question of how to recover from whiplash, patients must first be aware of the different kinds of whiplash treatment available. The most widely practiced and effective whiplash treatment is physical therapy. There are two major forms of physical therapy utilized for whiplash treatment, active physical therapy and passive physical therapy. Passive physical therapy does not require your active participation and can be performed to the site of injury by qualified physical therapists. During the initial stages of the injury, neck movement can be quite painful and passive physical therapy is advisable. As the injury starts to recover, active physical therapy can be practiced by the patient.
Passive physical therapy:
- Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage is performed on the site of injury by the physical therapist to reduce muscle stiffness and tension in the area. The therapist utilizes direct pressure and friction techniques to promote speedy recovery of the injured muscles.
- Hot and cold therapy
Heat increases the blood circulation of the area where it is applied and this helps the blood flow to be increased to the site of injury. An increased blood flow promotes healing due to the increased supply of nutrients and healing antibodies in the blood.
Application of an ice pack helps to cool the inflamed blood vessels and prevents chances of swelling. Cold therapy also reduces muscle spasms and should be performed alternately with heat therapy for the maximum effect.
Active physical therapy:
Active physical therapy includes a series of exercises aimed at improving your range of motion and increasing the physical movement of the injured muscles. Active physical therapy improves posture, reduces muscle spasms, and promotes healing of the injured tissues.
Physical therapy, both active and passive can answer the question of how to recover from whiplash and is the most effective whiplash treatment. Speak with a highly-trained physical therapist to develop an individualized physical therapy plan to help recover from the whiplash injury faster.