Neck pain is one of the most common injuries today. Whiplash, the non-medical term for neck pain, is often cited as a result of car accidents, sports injures, and slip and falls. Typically, the soft tissues of the neck are injured when the neck is forced to move in an abnormal manner or when the neck is forced to move beyond its range of motion. More often than not, whiplash is caused by a flexion-extension motion which forces the neck’s ligaments and muscles to be strained.

Treatment for whiplash injuries depends largely on the extent of the damage. Unfortunately, whiplash often comes along with more severe injuries, such as in the event of a traffic crash. When this is the case, whiplash damage is often ignored as the injured party addresses the more significant injuries. However, untreated whiplash damage has been known to become chronic. Therefore, anyone involved in a serious accident is encouraged to visit a doctor as soon as possible to assess any damage, especially in the neck.

Many people attempt to treat their whiplash injury at home. For those who have experienced minor neck injury, this is typically sufficient. Physicians will advise the patient to ice repeatedly for 15 to 20 minutes for the initial 48 to 72 hours. Icing enables the neck’s swelling to go down and reduces pain. In addition, the patient will often be advised to take over-the-counter medications to relieve pain, such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

In more severe whiplash injuries, medical treatment may be required. In these cases, the doctor may suggest that the patient wears a cervical collar to limit the motion of the neck. When the damage is very severe, physical therapy is likely the most beneficial whiplash treatment. The chiropractor will help the patient to regain motion in the neck through strengthening exercises that target the proper muscles and motion. In addition, ultrasounds and/or electrical stimulation may be utilized to encourage quick healing. When paired with chiropractic measures, recovery for whiplash injuries is made more efficient and direct.