8 Whiplash Home RemediesDo you have minor neck injuries following a car accident? Then take a look at these whiplash home remedies that will help ease the pain and stiffness.

Have you recently suffered whiplash as a result of an automobile accident or a blow to your head? Are you experiencing pain, stiffness or tenderness in your neck and the back of your head?  Are you having difficulty turning your head?

Whiplash can result in severe neck injuries that involve bone or spinal cord damage. Such injuries may need surgery to fix the problem. Less severe whiplash injuries are limited to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your neck.  If you have minor injuries, you can treat them at home. Below, you will find some home remedies that will help you relieve your whiplash symptoms.

Always consult your doctor if you have neck pain caused by injury.

8 Home Whiplash Remedies

The aim of treatment is to control pain and restore normal range of motion so you can return you to your normal activities.

1. Rest

  • During the first 24 hours after injury, rest is helpful. However, prolonged bed rest may delay recovery.
  • Even if your neck is sore, try to return to your usual activities as soon as possible.
  • Stay active, but be careful not to stretch your neck too much.

 

2. Over the Counter Medications

Over-the-counter painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen help ease moderate pain linked to whiplash injuries. Muscle relaxers are also helpful. If your neck pain is more severe, see your doctor who can prescribe stronger medication.

 

3. Soft Foam Collars

A foam collar may be used for the first few days, if the pain is severe.  However, don’t use it for more than 3 hours at a time as they are not recommended for extended use.

Soft foam cervical collars were commonly used for whiplash injuries to hold the neck and head still. However, studies over recent years have shown that immobilizing the neck for long periods slows the healing process and decreases muscle strength.

 

4. Ice Packs

  • Ice packs help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Apply ice packs to your neck for the first 48-72 hours after the injury. A pack of frozen peas can be used instead.
  • The ice pack should be wrapped in a towel and put on the front and back areas of the neck. Do not use ice straight on your neck to prevent ice bag burn,
  • Apply ice/cold to the neck area for 15-20 minutes, every 2-3 hours.

 

5. Heat Pads

  • After using ice for 2-3 days, start using moist heat to relieve aching, aid healing and relax the muscles in your neck.
  • You can use a neck and shoulder heat pad, a warm wet towel, or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. Take a hot bath or shower.
  • Use heat for fifteen to twenty minutes per hour, every two to three hours.

 

6. Pillows and Sleeping Habits

  • Avoid sleeping on your front as this can cause more damage to the injured tissues in your neck and slow down recovery.
  • Use a firm, supportive pillow. You need a pillow that can support the natural curve of your neck. Don’t use more than one pillow.

7. Posture

  • Maintaining a good, upright posture is important to help reduce the pain and stiffness. Good posture will also help the soft tissues to heal.
  • Keep your back straight when sitting, standing and walking.
  • If you spend a lot of time at a desk or using a computer, adjust your chair and computer screen to the correct level. Avoid straining your neck.

8. Exercises

Doing stretching and range of motion exercises helps whiplash injuries to heal and return normal function. However, care must be taken to prevent further damage to your neck. If you have moderate-severe whiplash, it’s advisable to speak to a physiotherapist who can recommend a suitable exercise program.

If you experience chronic pain from whiplash, you should speak to your doctor. Very severe injury can require hospital treatment. If you have only sustained a minor injury, you can treat the symptoms yourself using some of the whiplash home remedies outlined above.