What to do when you experience neck pain after the car accident
Getting in an accident is not a one-time event when pain lasts long afterward. Neck pain is one of the most complaints after a car accident.
Neck pain after an accident is called whiplash. It occurs due to rapid to and fro stretching in the neck muscles, joints, nerves, intervertebral discs, and ligaments. Severity can depend on the sitting position, face angle, and the collision's impact.
Whiplash injury hurts almost in the same way as a common neck sprain or neck strain does. But the difference is that whiplash usually lasts more days than other neck injuries.
Whiplash is the kind of pain that cannot be ignored. As your spinal cord and neck are majorly affected by the neck pain after the accident, your whole central nervous system stays awake. It's a kind of a high alert sent to every part of the body. Ultimately, this leads to exhaustion and pain.
Symptoms of Whiplash
- Stiff neck muscles that hurt upon touching with a mere finger.
- Constant headache and tired eyes: vision can also be disturbed
- Unable to concentrate or pay attention for more extended periods.
- Pain in the back and limbs.
- Extremely difficult to chew or swallow food down the throat.
- Constant ringing sound in the ear
- A slight fever and muscle fatigue
- Anxiety and depression
- Unable to lift anything with hands or even on the back.
What to Do About Painful Whiplash
Whiplash is a condition that needs your attention. You have to do something about it, or it will last for more than expected, affecting your quality of life.
- Like any other muscle sprain, home remedies try to do some quick and effective home remedies. Almost 80% of people feel much better after following a strict home care routine. Here's what you can do:
- Applying ice wrapped in a gentle cloth to your neck pain after an accident can help a lot. The process stops or lessens the inflammation around the injured area. Do not apply ice directly to the affected area; instead, fold it in multiple layers of a gentle cloth or an ice bag. Please keep it on the neck for not more than 15 minutes and then remove it. Repeat the procedures after short intervals of a minimum of 40 minutes.
- Heat does wonders when it comes to relaxing the muscles. Heat is transferred deep down into the muscles and tissues, improving blood circulation and expanding the capillaries. Ultimately heat helps relax muscles and reduce pain. Do not apply extreme heat to your skin. Like ice, use the heating pad wrapped in a cloth. Direct heat may burn your skin. Check the heating pad's temperature because too little heat won't do anything, and too much heat will burn your skin. You can apply dry heat, which means using heating pads and saunas, or you can also opt for applying moist heat. Applying moist heat means taking hot baths, steaming, or heated water pads. The damp heat procedure is more effective than the dry heat procedure. It not only wakes up the affected area, but the whole body muscles get relaxed.
- Over-the-counter medications that are usually slightly dosed pain killers also help ease the neck pain after the accident. You can buy these medicines from any pharmaceutical store without a doctor's prescription. Common pain relievers include Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen.
- Gadgets like neck collars and braces work by adding support to your head and relieving pressure on the spinal cord and the neck. However, they should never be the first option to look for, as they weaken the muscles and tendons when used for a more extended period.
- Who says no to massage? Massaging the affected area with gentle hands and oil relaxes the muscles, and the oil nutrients pass down, which is excellent for skin and heals the injury from inside. But do not use scrubbed hands or rub the skin harshly because you do not know the severity of your injury yet.
Consult your Doctor
In case the neck pain after the accident is not getting any better, and you see the symptoms are increasing every day, consult your doctor immediately. Discuss the accident's details and what remedies you've been doing at home already.
Explain to the doctor your symptoms honestly. Doctors will recommend some relaxants, painkillers, or specific muscle exercises. Follow these instructions and see if you get relief. Most people get better once they consult their doctors.
Many people think moving your head will cause more pain if they've got neck pain after the accident. But the truth is, one should always try moving their limbs and body in whatever situation it is. It will hurt, but it will save your motor neurons from permanent damage.
We suggest you should seek a physical therapist in the case of whiplash. He can tell you some medications and some calculated physical movements for your body that may ultimately help you heal.
Other Small Lifestyle Tips
We have some extra care tips for you to remember. Sleep on your back instead of a side of your body. Use two or three pillows for support and sleep straight. Do not change your neck position abruptly. Avoid putting the mobile phone between the head and shoulder.
Find a Reputable, Quality Pain Specialist
Pain specialists are trained doctors at the cutting edge of pain relief. A quality pain clinic will focus on holistic, non-invasive treatments rather than solely prescribed medication. It may seem scary or even drastic to see a pain specialist but finding a pain relief partner should bring you confidence in a more fulfilling life.
When looking for a compassionate pain specialist:
- Do your research about them. Does the doctor's practice involve holistic treatment plans?
- Are they well qualified and trained?
- Do they have many reviews from people? Seeing a doctor with many positive testimonials may reduce your anxiety from visiting them.
Scheduling your first consultation is a lot less scary when you have confidence in the clinic's approach, training, and track record.
Don't rely on self-healing of the neck pain.
There is no way one can avoid whiplash. Chronic pain from car accidents requires qualified, compassionate care. Don't suffer chronic neck pain and get relief.