Whiplash, commonly referred to neck strain, can be caused by a car accident or an injury sustained when playing contact sports like football. The strain normally occurs when your head jerks forward or backward due to a force tearing the muscles and tendons in your neck. The damaged tendons and tissues in your neck can cause serious pain.
Symptoms of whiplash
Whiplash can cause pain in the neck region that is hard to ignore. Muscles in this area may feel stiff and hard. You’ll feel the pain most when you try to move your head from side to side or backwards and forwards. The other common symptom of whiplash is headaches especially in the forehead region. Some people will feel the pain on the neck immediately when the injury occurs. In other cases, it takes several hours before the neck begins to hurt.
In many cases, neck strain tends to heal on its own. However, there are a number of ways to reduce the symptoms of neck strain.
One of the simple measures that you can take to reduce the pain and swelling is to apply ice on the affected area. You can use a towel or cloth to apply ice on the neck region for the first few days after the injury occurs. Just make sure you don’t expose the skin to cold temperature directly as this may cause injury.
Take pain killers
Over the counter medication can help if the pain and swelling doesn’t subside after a few days. If you are taking any other medication, consult your Raleigh doctor before going for pain killers at your local pharmacy. Some pain killers have side effects which you need to be aware of.
A simple massage can provide quick relief on the neck. Look for a massage therapist who knows the right techniques to apply in order to treat neck strain.
Neck brace or collar
Sometimes the doctor may recommend a neck brace or collar to provide additional support. However, do not use the neck brace over a long period of time. It can end up weakening the muscles of your neck.
Apply moist heat
Applying heat on the neck can also help to reduce the pain and discomfort. Do not apply direct heat as this may cause injury on the skin. You can use a warm towel or take a warm bath focusing on the affected area.
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