Car accidents are one of the primary causes of whiplash, which is an injury to the neck’s soft tissues. The pain can often range from mild to severe, and it is possible that victims might not realize they have the issue until a few hours or days after the event.
Rather than hoping the pain goes away, you must seek medical assistance as soon as possible. There are also various actions you shouldn’t perform to ensure you make a quick and full recovery. Read the four whiplash mistakes to avoid.
Even if the pain is minor, you shouldn’t ignore potential whiplash symptoms, or you could experience bigger health issues in the future, such as chronic pain, decreased mobility, migraines or spinal problems.
Common whiplash symptoms can include:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Shoulder pain or tenderness
- Pain in your arms or upper back
- Limited range of motion in the neck
It is wise to visit a chiropractor following a car accident, as they will have the knowledge and experience to help you to heal from the event successfully.
Driving a Vehicle
If your neck feels stiff and you struggle to turn your head left to right, it will be difficult to look both ways for oncoming traffic due to great physical pain. For this reason, you should avoid driving, as you should never rely on your side mirrors that could feature blind spots, which could lead to another vehicle accident.
Lying Down for Too Long
While lying down or relaxing on the sofa can be a wise idea following the first 48 to 72 hours after a whiplash injury, it is important you don’t spend too much time in bed or you could exacerbate the problem.
While you might believe it is beneficial to relax as much as possible, it is important your neck experiences some movement and stretching to improve its strength and function. It is, however, essential to consult a chiropractor for advice and exercises, as they will have the expertise to alleviate your pain, strengthen your neck, and help you to heal at a faster rate.
Wearing a Neck Brace
While a neck brace can provide some much-needed pain relief when suffering from whiplash, it shouldn’t be worn for more than 48 hours. Otherwise, it could take longer to recover from the health issue, as it will prevent the stretching of the neck muscles and stop them from returning to their natural position. After between 48 to 72 hours, you should apply either heat or ice onto your neck to reduce inflammation and manage any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing.
If you have been diagnosed with whiplash or believe you might be suffering from the painful complaint following a car accident, you should immediately reach out to Icon Medical Centers for high-quality chiropractic care.