The impact of a car accident can severely injure your neck. Your head may suddenly move backward and forward due to the brute force of a collision, resulting in injuries to the muscles, ligaments, discs and joints in your neck. Whiplash is the name of this type of injury. You may assume this is a minor injury that heals quickly, but that is not always the case.
In fact, a medical study shows the quality of life of many whiplash patients is poor even five years after the incident. Here is an overview of how life can be after a whiplash injury.
While some cases of whiplash may resolve within a few days or weeks, others can result in long-term problems. You may find yourself dealing with headaches or chronic pain for years.
When you see your doctor and receive a diagnosis for whiplash, he or she may prescribe pain medications. If the pain is not severe, your doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen. However, if the injury is more serious, you may need prescription muscle relaxants or pain medication.
Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist to help ensure your neck heals properly. Physical therapy involves exercises to build flexibility and strength in your neck. A physical therapist may also teach you better posture and relaxation techniques.
Recovering from whiplash may require various types of at-home self-care. Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend using ice, heat or topical pain patches. You should keep an eye on your posture while at home and at work.
Alternative medicines and treatments can relieve neck pain, such as:
- Chiropractic care
- Electronic nerve stimulation
Dealing with whiplash can be painful and inconvenient. What's more, treating your whiplash injury can be extremely costly. In some cases, you may be able to recover compensation to ease the financial burden.