Though you can take steps to get immediate relief from whiplash, you should expect to have some pain until the soft tissues heal. The shortest path to quick healing is personalized treatment from the experienced team at iMed Regeneration Center.
In addition to the fastest possible pain relief, there’s another good reason to schedule an appointment. It turns out that about half of all people with a whiplash injury go on to develop a chronic pain condition called whiplash-associated disorder (WAD).
The best way to prevent WAD is with immediate treatment that relieves the pain and boosts the healing process. Read on to learn how to achieve fast and long-lasting relief from your whiplash symptoms.
Whiplash is primarily a sprain and strain injury. In severe cases, vertebrae and discs may be injured, but most of the time, the muscles and ligaments that support your neck suffer the damage.
Let’s be straight up: Sprains and strains take time to heal. The length of time depends on the severity of the injury. In the meantime, you will experience some pain.
But you can take two steps to achieve immediate relief: Take over-the-counter pain medications and apply ice for about 15 minutes every hour (or as recommended after we evaluate your injury). Applying ice in the first few days after your injury reduces swelling, which in turn helps relieve your pain.
After suffering whiplash, you may have neck pain that’s mild or severe. You could have delayed pain that doesn’t appear until the next day or several days later. Some people have immediate pain that quickly disappears, only to return a few days later.
You may also experience symptoms such as:
No matter what symptoms you experience, you have the best chance for a quick recovery when you immediately schedule an exam. The fastest possible relief occurs when you promptly start an individualized treatment plan to reduce inflammation, restore strength, and improve your range of motion.
One of the first steps on the path to a fast recovery is a mild exercise regimen. Your pain will improve with a routine of gentle movements that slowly stretch the soft tissues and strengthen the neck muscles.
You can also accelerate healing and improve your symptoms by following a range-of-motion program.
Though neck exercises have a key role in relieving your symptoms, they should always be done under our supervision. We tailor the exercises to meet the severity of your injury so you don’t place too much stress on the damaged tissues.
When healing from whiplash, staying active promotes healing better than rest. Resting too long decreases circulation, which slows down healing. Getting too much rest also makes your muscles stiffen.
But you also need to protect the tissues while they heal. That means you should avoid the movements and activities that cause pain.
Several types of therapy increase circulation, promote healing, and restore your neck’s mobility. You may want to consider:
Using gentle chiropractic care such as spinal manipulation or mobilization relieves your symptoms by restoring the normal position of the muscles and vertebrae. You may also benefit from massage, manual stretching, and cervical traction.
Physical rehabilitation accelerates healing by boosting circulation and exercising your neck. Passive modalities such as electrical stimulation don’t place any stress on your neck, yet they reduce your pain.
We usually consider regenerative medicine after giving other conventional therapies time to take effect. If you suffered a severe whiplash injury or your pain continues longer than a few weeks, we may recommend platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or mesenchymal stem cell injections.
The concentrated platelets in PRP accelerate healing and regulate inflammation. Mesenchymal stem cells regenerate all the new cells your body needs to fully heal your neck. Both provide pain relief the best way possible: by truly healing the damaged tissues.
If you need help with a whiplash injury, call our Colorado Springs, Colorado, office to schedule an appointment or book online today.