Whiplash Injury – How to Treat?

by allan46 on February 10, 2011

Whiplash injury happens due to sudden jolt of the head. This injury which happens in the neck muscles, results when the head moves very fast backward and then forward. This type of injury is more common during a road traffic accident or direct trauma to the neck. Although a whiplash injury is not life threatening, however; prompt treatment is required in order to provide safety from complications.



There are several treatment strategies, which are adopted in order to provide relief from the painful condition which results due to a whiplash injury.  At the doctor’s clinic, the first thing which is evaluated is the status of the neck spine. If there is no injury to the neck, the patient is considered safe and out of danger. A cervical collar can be provided to the patients if there is suspected neck spine (cervical spine) injury or a patient gets intense pain in the neck muscles. The doctor takes brief history and examines the patient. He asks for X-rays, CT scan or MRI as per needed.



Over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or diclofenic are usually prescribed at the fist instance in a whiplash injury. These medicines not only decrease pain but also reduce the inflammation.
Patients having a whiplash injury are advised to apply hot and cold packs to the neck. The hot packs increase the blood supply to the region, whereas the cold packs reduce the swelling and muscle stiffness.
Patients are advised to maintain a good body posture. They are trained for adopting various types of postures so that the strain would not increase on their neck muscles and the pain, and stiffness could be decreased considerably.
Complete bed rest is advised for at least one week. In order to avoid excessive neck movements, patients are advised to wear the cervical collar. The duration of rest is decreased accordingly depending upon the relief in signs and symptoms.
If the pain persists, then the doctor may consider giving steroids in the form of injectables. Steroids act as a fast relieving painkiller and reduce the inflammation and swelling promptly. The direct steroid injection inside the neck muscles is usually given by the help of fluoroscopy.
Last but not least is the physiotherapy. There are different types of exercises which are offered to the patients having pain in the neck due to whiplash injury. By the help of these exercises, the muscles of the neck get strengthen and the pain and swelling is reduced remarkably.




This article is provided for information purposes only. Please consult a doctor for treatment options. This article is not written by a doctor or checked for accuracy by a physician.


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