A neck strain, most commonly referred to as whiplash, is caused by any impact or blow that forces your head and body to jerk forward and backward. The sudden impact or force causes the neck to stretch and tear the muscles and tendons. A high percentage of people involved in a motor vehicle accident will sustain a whiplash injury. Whiplash can share similar symptoms to a disc herniation; those suffering from severe pain should seek medical attention.
The First 72 Hours:
Within the first 72 hours following a whiplash injury, apply ice to the injured area every 1 to 2 hours after the accident. Along with ice applications, those suffering from symptoms of a whiplash injury should consider over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, unless contraindicated. Also, modifying daily activities along with resting and relaxing will help alleviate muscle tension.
2-3 Days Following the Injury:
After 2-3 days of icing, anti-inflammatory medication, and rest, begin to use heat on the injured area. Heat loosens the muscles further, allowing you to stretch the muscles in the neck. According to SpineHealth.com, using heat 2 to 3 times a day with stretching can alleviate pain.
Some whiplash symptoms are similar to a herniated disc within the cervical spine. Soreness, stiffness, or sharp pains are all shared symptoms between both injuries. Those who are struggling with the symptoms listed below should seek medical care:
- Numbness/tingling in hands
- Pain traveling into the shoulders
- Muscle weakness or fatigue
Here at First State Spine, we pride ourselves on being the experts of the cervical spine. We understand the severity of neck trauma and we do our best to accommodate patients quickly, proudly serving those from Delaware and surrounding areas. Schedule your appointment today to discuss your neck pain and treatment options available!