A whiplash neck sprain ?
A whiplash neck sprain occurs when your head is suddenly forced backwards and forwards on the body. This type of injury is common in car accident collisions, but most of these injuries are not serious and permanent damage is rare.
It is the neck muscles, ligaments, and small joints that can be affected by being stretched more than normal. The body has a natural ability to repair itself however it can be common to suffer from the following symptoms:
Neck pain and stiffness
Pins and needles/numbness
Shoulder and arm pain.
What is the outlook after a whiplash neck sprain?
The outlook in most cases is good, but the time taken for symptoms to settle varies from person to person. In most cases, symptoms are much better or gone within one to four weeks. Sometimes aches and pains can persist or recur for quite a long time after a whiplash injury. Experiencing good and bad days is a normal part of getting better.
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What will help your symptoms?
1 - Painkillers
It is helpful to take painkillers regularly such as Paracetamol or anti-inflammatories, until the pain eases. This will help you move your neck and stay active. It may be necessary to seek advice from your GP or pharmacist if you have difficulty controlling the pain.
2 - Heat and cold
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Heat and cold for neck
The use of hot and cold applied locally to the neck can provide some short term pain relief and help relax muscle spasm. Cold application is most effective for the first few days after injury. Wrap a bag of frozen peas in a damp teatowel and apply across the back of your neck and shoulders for about 5-10 minutes and repeat 3-4 times during the day.
Heat is usually most effective after the first three days. Using a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, or a wheat bag, apply for 15-20 minutes and repeat as necessary throughout the day.
3 - Posture
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Poor posture can delay your recovery and it is important to avoid slouching and sitting with your chin poking forward. Try to sit up straight with a hollow in your lower back. Use a rolled-up towel placed at the level of your waistband to help to maintain this position. Keep your shoulders pulled back and relaxed.
Avoiding staying in one position for long periods, eg sitting or driving. Change your position regularly to help you avoid adopting poor postures and avoid prolonged periods of inactivity.
4 - Sleeping
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