Car accidents or other situations that cause the head to suddenly jerk forward or backward can result in neck strain, which is commonly called whiplash. Symptoms of Whiplash in St Louis include a decreased range of motion, pain or stiffness when trying to move the head and headaches that start at the base of the skull and radiate up to the forehead. There are a few different treatments available that might help people with whiplash.
Treatment for Whiplash in St Louis often starts with taking painkillers, icing the neck to reduce the swelling and, in some cases, using a neck brace to help support the neck. If a neck brace is used, it shouldn’t be used full-time and should only be used during the first week or it may weaken the neck muscles. After a few days when the swelling has gone down, applying moist heat may help minimize the pain and stiffness. This can be enough to treat relatively mild cases of whiplash. Doctors may also prescribe stronger pain medication, muscle relaxants or lidocaine injections if pain is preventing you from sleeping or participating in physical therapy.
Exercise and Physical Therapy
The doctor will also probably prescribe physical therapy or recommend exercises that will help strengthen the neck and increase the range of motion you can achieve. These exercises will help you get back to your regular routine.
For more severe cases of whiplash, chiropractic care may be beneficial. The exact damage caused by the accident will determine the appropriate chiropractic treatment. This could include stabilization or sensorimotor exercises that help train the nervous system to move in ways that help make the neck more stable and to better control movement patterns. Once patients learn the exercises at the chiropractor’s office, they can continue them at home. Chiropractic manipulation may help to improve the range of motion of the neck, while muscle relaxation or stimulation can help reduce tension in the muscles and stretch them, helping to limit any pain.
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