Welcome back to the Arne Wellness Center blog. If you have recently been involved in an auto collision, you may be experiencing mild to severe neck pain. Neck strain, or whiplash, as it is often called, is one of the most common types of auto injuries that affect the cervical spine. Whiplash can be painful and limit movement in the neck and shoulders. Today, let’s explore what whiplash is and ways to relieve swelling, pain, and discomfort caused by this injury. Are you looking for a car accident chiropractor for auto injury treatment in Littleton? Give our wellness center a call to learn more about our chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy treatments for auto injury recovery.

What Is Whiplash?

Auto injury-related whiplash is caused when the head and neck are suddenly and rapidly jarred forward, backward, or side-to-side due to an impact. This sudden whipping motion causes a rebound effect that quickly whips the head and neck in one direction and then immediately in the opposite direction, causing the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck and shoulders to stretch and tighten. As the soft tissues respond to this movement by suddenly tightening and contracting, it can create muscle spasm, fatigue, stiffness, tenderness, and pain. Headaches and vision issues may also develop. These symptoms can limit the movement and range of motion in the neck, shoulders, and even the arms. Symptoms usually develop within 24 to 48 hours after an accident, but can take weeks, and even months, to fully manifest. When left untreated, whiplash can go from an acute (short-term) injury to a chronic injury (long-term) that may lead to other musculoskeletal pain issues down the road.

Choose Ice Over Heat

Icing your neck can help reduce inflammation, the body’s natural response to an injury that causes swelling, redness, and soreness. Ice your neck immediately after an injury for 15-20 minutes every 2-4 hours. Repeat this process for the first two to three days after your injury. If the ice is too cold on your skin, wrap it in a towel, sock, or bandana. Avoid using a heating pad immediately after your injury. While the heat may feel good at first, it can aggravate the swelling, and may cause more discomfort.

Take It Easy

Give yourself some time to rest and recover. The pain you may experience can feel uncomfortable when you perform normal movements and activities, so it’s good to limit your physical activities for a day or two. Try to avoid any heavy lifting, repetitive use of your neck and shoulders, and frequent twisting and turning of your neck.

Use a Neck Support

Check with your chiropractor to see if a neck collar or brace may offer additional support and comfort. Neck supports are generally most effective when worn in the days immediately following an injury, as wearing them for an extended length of time can weaken your neck muscles.

Schedule Auto Injury Treatment

If you want effective relief for neck pain caused by whiplash, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy are safe, natural treatments that encourage the body’s natural ability to heal to recover. Call Arne Wellness Center today to schedule auto injury treatment in Littleton. We are here to help you heal.