whiplash, upper cervical care

Whiplash is a kind of neck injury that usually happens during car accidents. It is caused when the head is suddenly and forcefully thrown forward or backward, like a whip, causing the neck muscles and ligaments to stretch beyond their normal range of motion. Whiplash can lead to a painful injury, making it difficult to move and perform everyday tasks. Upper cervical care and other simple methods can help you deal with whiplash.

If you’re reading this, chances are you or someone you know experienced whiplash. The symptoms of whiplash can be straight-out uncomfortable and last from weeks to months, but some people may still experience pain for several months or years following the injury. Fortunately, you can try a few self-care techniques to ease your pain and discomfort. Here are four (4) simple tips you can try to help you cope:

#1. Apply ice and hot compress

Applying cold therapy is one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation and pain caused by whiplash. It’s best to do this as soon as possible after an injury. Cold therapy constricts the blood vessels in the affected area, reducing swelling and numbing pain receptors. You can use ice packs, frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel, or even a bag of frozen peas. Apply the cold compress to the neck for 20-30 minutes several times a day. 

After the injury heals and the inflammation subsides, you can start applying a hot compress on the affected area to speed up healing. Additionally, the heat can promote good blood flow, enabling your damaged muscle tissues to repair themselves. 

#2. Avoid neck-straining activities

It’s always encouraged to put your neck in a neutral position. So it’s best to avoid any activity or gesture that will strain your neck muscles. This includes holding your phone between your shoulder and neck while you’re on a call. These activities put unnecessary pressure on your neck, bone, and muscles, which can bring worse bouts of pain. 

You can also try using neck support, such as the use of a rolled-up towel or pillow to keep your neck in a neutral position. You can use such support behind your head as you rest, sit, or sleep to align your head and neck. This will help reduce strain on the muscles and ligaments, allowing them to heal properly when necessary.

#3. Exercise and keep yourself physically active

Despite the injury, engaging in gentle exercise is still possible and encouraged even if you have a painful neck. Engaging in movement can help prevent muscle stiffness around the affected areas. Just keep in mind not to overdo it or overexert yourself. Gentle exercises to try may include mild and slow stretches, yoga, pilates, or tai chi.

Stretching the muscles and ligaments that have been affected by whiplash is another way to help reduce pain and promote healing. Perform gentle stretches only, and do not exert too much force as they can further injure the tissues. Try doing some simple neck rolls or tilts several times a day. You can also massage the affected area with your fingers to help loosen tight muscles. Stop right away as soon as you experience sharp pain while stretching or massaging, as this could indicate further damage.

#4. Avoid sitting down for long hours

If you are the type to sit in front of a computer for extended hours frequently, we recommend spending a few minutes standing up. These few minutes will allow you to stretch your muscles out and prevent them from becoming stiff. If you are required to sit down for long hours at work, you can explore work desk exercises, especially if you don’t have time to work out regularly. 

whiplash, upper cervical care

Compliment Your Whiplash Management Efforts with Upper Cervical Care

If you are suffering from pain and discomfort caused by whiplash, we hope that you find the self-care techniques we shared above especially helpful. Always consult your doctor before trying new treatment methods, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions. 

But in case you are still in need of lasting relief beyond the simple self-care tips, one method some patients who experience whiplash swear by is upper cervical care. The process will begin by letting your chiropractic doctor do some exams and interviews to identify and assess any neck bone misalignment. This is because whiplash triggers your upper cervical bones to shift out of alignment due to strength and movement. 

Once your upper cervical chiropractic doctor has the necessary information, you can receive personalized adjustments to address your neck bones’ alignment and your whiplash symptoms. The whole procedure is safe and gentle, which will support the body’s natural capability to heal on its own. 

After a few adjustments, you can potentially see significant improvements in your symptoms. 

Your adjustments will involve gentle movement that will slowly encourage your bone to move back to its natural alignment. This will set the proper alignment for the rest of your spine. Eventually, your Chiropractic doctor can restore balance and alignment in your spine, and you can improve your quality of life and enjoy movement without painful symptoms again.

If you want to experience the benefits of upper cervical care for long-lasting relief from your symptoms, please reach out to an upper cervical chiropractic doctor near you. This method is natural and generally safe for patients of all ages, including children, pregnant women, and senior citizens.

 

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