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How to Treat Whiplash When Recovering From a Car Accident

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When involved in a car accident in New York City, the physical and emotional trauma can be challenging to navigate through. Although drivers often experience soreness after a car crash, many are unaware of the severity of their injuries after the car accident. If someone gets whiplash after a car accident, the condition may not be noticeable for a few hours or days. At Accident Help Zone, we list experienced medical providers that can help determine the extent of the injuries after a car wreck. Here are some tips for diagnosing and treating whiplash.

The Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when your neck moves abruptly forward or backward after a collision. Rear-end collisions are responsible for most whiplash cases, but high-contact sports can also cause the condition. Soreness in your neck is the most common symptom of whiplash, but you can experience other symptoms, such as:

  • Arm or hand numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Lower back pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ear ringing
  • Sleeplessness

These symptoms aren’t unique to whiplash, and doctors will perform several tests to ensure another medical condition doesn’t cause your pain.

Treatment and Recovery Methods

Depending on the severity of the condition, whiplash treatment can last for several days or weeks. For less severe cases, whiplash sufferers, after receiving a diagnosis from a doctor, typically recover at home without help from a therapist. 

Although X-rays cannot detect whiplash, a physician will perform X-rays to rule out a broken bone or other serious condition. Some of the treatments for whiplash include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: Whiplash pain can be mitigated with widely available pain medications. Advil, Tylenol, and Aleve reduce inflammation and relieve pain for light cases of whiplash.
  • Rest: Taking it easy after the accident can help your recovery from whiplash. Doctors recommend avoiding strenuous activity for a few days and suggest sleeping on your back at night.
  • Hot or cold therapy: Holding an ice pack or heat pad on your neck for 15 minutes can alleviate some of your neck pain. Repeating the treatment every three hours can help minimize the pain throughout the day.
  • Prescription Medications: Medical professionals sometimes prescribe antidepressants for patients with severe whiplash. Antidepressants can help treat nerve pain. A physician can also specify a muscle relaxant for people who lose sleep from their distress.
  • Injections: When a patient experiences intense pain from whiplash but struggles with therapy exercises, doctors use lidocaine injections to numb neck pain and improve the neck’s range of motion. After the injection, patients can handle physical therapy and continue their recovery.
  • Cervical collars: A foam collar can limit your movement to help with recovery. However, medical experts recommend taking the collar off after 72 hours. While limiting mobility is helpful in the early stages of the condition, your neck must be exercised before you return to normal.
  • Exercise: After the pain ceases, doctors recommend therapy exercises to perform at home. Most activities involve tilting or rotating your neck to improve mobility.

Alternative Treatments

Although the previous treatments are used extensively for whiplash pain, alternative therapies have also shown promise. Chiropractic methods can alleviate neck and back pain by manipulating specific joint and spine areas on your body. Medical doctors can recommend combining chiropractic visits with physical therapy for a speedier recovery.

Massage therapy and light Yoga stretches can also help the recovery process. A skilled masseuse can temporarily relieve your neck pain with a brief message, and Yoga stretches can improve your range of motion and flexibility.

Speak to a Professional

Like other medical conditions, a full recovery from whiplash takes time. If your treatment program is not helping your pain and mobility issues, you should talk to a whiplash doctor in New York and New Jersey. At Accident Help Zone, we use a list of the most talented pain specialists in the NY and NJ area to connect you with professionals to treat your whiplash. Contact us today to find a qualified auto accident injury doctor near you. Most insurance plans are accepted, including no-fault, PIP (personal injury Protection), workers’ compensation, and medical liens. Don’t delay. Call (888) 412-8488 and get on your way to recovery.