This is a condition that is often ignored because it is so misunderstood. It is relatively common and can develop due to any impact from behind while stationary. Often this is associated with a car accident. When the head rapidly moves from forward to backward, or upright to either side, it can damage the soft tissue and bone structure.
Although whiplash is not life threatening, it can cause a period of disability and can cost a lot of money to fix, including the cost of loss in productivity or time off from work.
Symptoms of whiplash can include neck, shoulder, jaw, back and arm pain. Sometimes dizziness, weakness, and ringing in the ear can occur. Many times it can lead to a whiplash headache, also called cervicogenic headaches.
As with any injury, whiplash should be treated by a physician. Sometimes it can be treated with medication or physical therapy. If it persists, steroid injections can be used for relief.
Here are a few tips to help ease the symptoms of whiplash.
- Get plenty of rest. Making sure you are resting your body and not over-exerting yourself is key to recovery for most injuries.
- Neck rotations. Stand with arms at your side and slowing turn your head to the left and right, up and back. Make sure you are only turning your head as far as you can without experiencing pain.
- Shoulder stretches. Tension in your upper back and shoulders can be difficult to deal with Try reaching your arms back and grasping them together. Try to lift your arms toward the ceiling while keeping your back straight.
- Use heat and cold therapy. Don’t underestimate the value of heat and cold therapy on any injury. It can help reduce pain and inflammation.