The aftermath of a car accident is confusing, expensive, and often painful. You have to get your car towed, fill out a police report, call your insurance company, and possibly talk to a Khan Law Firm, PLLC car accident attorney. The last thing you need is to be debilitated by a whiplash injury and have to pay medical bills. Below are six tips to treat your whiplash pain by yourself in the comfort of your own home.
Ice Pack or Heating Pad
You can apply an ice pack to the affected area to help manage pain and to reduce swelling. Use the ice pack for up to 15 minutes at a time for the first 48-72 hours after the accident. A heating pad or a hot shower can also help reduce tightness in the muscles.
Allowing your neck muscles to rest for the first day so you don’t cause further injury is an integral part of recovery, but it is important not to overdo it, as too much inactivity will weaken the muscles.
Stretching is important in helping prevent stiffness and loss of range of motion. As with rest, it’s important not to overdo it or push yourself too far. Listen to your body and if a particular stretch causes pain, stop immediately. Some good stretches include:
• Turning your head from side to side (like you are shaking your head no)
• Tilting your head from side to side
• Rolling your shoulders
• Tucking your chin towards your chest
Be sure to do these slowly and gradually.
Exercise is an excellent way to get the blood circulating through the body, which will strengthen your muscles and speed up recovery. Find exercises that get your body moving but avoids straining the injured area.
Over-the-counter Pain Relievers
To manage the pain, you can also take over-the-counter pain remedies such as ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin. An NSAID such as ibuprofen will also target inflammation at the site of the injury.
Use the Right Pillow
How you sleep is crucial to the recovery process—certain sleeping positions can additionally strain your neck. Sleeping on your stomach, for example, puts your neck at an unnatural angle. Sleep on you back and find a pillow that supports the natural curvature of your neck.
As you can see, there are options for you to treat whiplash on your own. The important thing to remember is to take it easy when you need to but keep your body moving as much as you can. As long as you take care of yourself, you should see an improvement in just a few days.