Whiplashes: A brief overview & their treatments


If you haven’t heard about whiplashes before then you should know that they are fairly common.

In its simplest of definition, whiplashes are those injuries that are caused by a severe jerking movement of the head, where the neck muscles and nerves undergo a considerable amount of strain.

However, depending upon the severity of the injury a whiplash can be graded in 4 main categories accordingly. The lowest of them all is Grade 0 where the patient doesn’t have a complaint and there are no signs of injury.

Moving a little higher Grade 1 whiplash are those where neck pain is evident but there are no physical or visible signs of injury.

Grade 2 whiplashes, on the other hand, include visible signs of injury to the musculoskeletal system and the patient experiencing a considerable amount of pain. Finally,

Grade 3 is the worst where signs of injury and pain are quite evident in the patient but there is also impairment to the neurological system. If one doesn’t take immediate care for their whiplash then chances of them worsening are drastically increased. As such more than 50% of whiplash occurrences often transgress to more chronic levels of pain.

Nearly 3 million and more cases of whiplash injuries are reported every year, and the most common cause of them is often accredited to rear-ended car accidents. In this post let us offer you some ways through which you can find relief from such a harrowing ailment.

Treatments That Can Be Essential to Mitigate Immediate Pain

There is no doubt about the fact that the neck region is an important part of the human body but more so with a pain that is not subsiding there are some basic types of whiplash treatment that you should know before things begin to transform into something worse. This is what you can do:

  • Put an ice pack on your neck region once you have received a neck injury. However, it is important that you do not put the ice in direct contact with the skin as it may cause even more complications. So use a cloth or towel to cover it first. Secondly, you should consider icing the injured area every 15 minutes max and repeat this multiple times after every 3 to 4 hours but not before that. This will help you reduce the swelling around the neck region as well as lessen your pain.
  • You can also consider applying moist heat to your neck, however, follow up with this only after you have performed icing for your neck as advised for around two to three days first. Doing this will allow the initial swelling to have become smaller. In order to do this, you can use towels that are soaked in warm water or you could simply just take a warm bath.
  • If all you really want to do is manage your pain then you can consider taking a lot of rest. But make sure that the maximum amount of rest is only for a day or maybe two after sustaining the injury. Afterward, you slowly and gradually need to be more active, otherwise, too much bed rest for a longer period of time can cause recovery from a whiplash to be delayed. Taking rest is important however the main objective is to gather strength every time and push yourself towards making your neck active again.
  • There are several exercises that you can do too to make your neck muscles and nerves to get better again. However, these exercises should always be conducted while being under the close supervision of a professional doctor. These exercises may include rotating your neck in both directions, tilting your head from side to side, bend your neck towards the chest, and rolling your shoulders. All of this is done to make your muscles less stiff and untie the knots in them which have come into place after sustaining an injury to your neck region.

Treating Whiplash with the Help of Medicines

While we are certainly not in the favor of using medications to lessen your pain since they all have side effects that none of us want, however at times there is simply no choice but to follow the prescription offered to you by the doctor. Here are some common anecdotes:

  • At times painkillers and drugs seem the only likely way to make pain management possible for patients. These may include ibuprofen which you can find in Advil and Motrin. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also known as NSAIDs can be a good choice. Aleve has naproxen which can help you control the pain and the swelling both. However, they all should only be taken as per your doctor’s advice.
  • You can also buy over the counter medications such as Tylenol or other similar meds that contain acetaminophen. You can do this to lessen moderate pains occurring after going through a whiplash.
  • Injections may also be taken, such as Lidocaine that contains Xylocaine. However, you should know that these injections offer numbing medicine and are to be used to deal and manage with muscle areas that are in evident pain. The injection can also help massagers and professional physiotherapists to conduct their affaire without facing much resistance from the patient.
  • Muscle relaxants like the one used by referees when one of the players gets injured and is going through pain. More or less these muscle relaxants are meant to be utilized for the short term use only. Muscle relaxants often make you feel sleepy, so if your pain is causing you to have restless nights, then perhaps this would be a great option to try.

We hope this post was able to provide you with considerable insights as to how you can go about mitigating the pain from whiplashes. On a final note, we would like to say that the majority of the times, whiplash occur due to human error.

You should not only consider implementing safe driving principles but also make sure that your neck region stays away from harm even when playing competitive sports. For more information regarding the topic, please feel free to share with us your feedback in the comment section below.