“Whiplash” is the term that is generally used for neck strain. Most people, who have experienced this form of injury, have acquired the condition as a result of an automobile accident. In a case such as that, the driver and/or the passenger’s head is thrown forward, upon impact, and then jerked back. This rapid motion will cause the neck muscles to become strained. In addition, the sudden force may also tear the neck muscles and tendons. The complete extent of the injury can either be felt immediately or it will not be fully felt until an hour later, or even in the following day(s). Other than car accidents, neck strain will also be commonly experienced by both professional and amateur athletes. Contact sports players, such as those who play football, are particularly prone to this type of injury.
It’s quite common to confuse a neck strain with a neck sprain, which involves the tearing of the person’s ligaments, as opposed to the neck strain, which involves muscles and tendons. However, to a person who is experiencing the potentially severe pain associated with a neck injury, the difference won’t matter very much! In actuality, the causes, symptoms and whiplash therapy are the same for both types of injuries.
The Symptoms Associated With Whiplash
There are generally four major symptoms that indicate whiplash. These are:
- Tenderness in the neck area
- Potentially severe pain when moving the head from either side-to-side or from backward to forward
- Tightness of the neck, that can decrease the neck’s range of motion
- Subsequent headaches in which the pain will run from the base of the skull upwards to the forehead
Whiplash Therapy Procedures
It’s important to seek treatment for whiplash, since the pain can be debilitating and the original injury may also have involved a concussion. However, you may encounter a physician who is prone to treat whiplash with heavy narcotic medication, in order to mask the pain, and then tell you to “take it easy” for a few days. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to proceed, since many individuals can have an adverse reaction to narcotics. In addition, by masking the pain, you could cause further damage by using your neck muscles and be unaware that you are exacerbating the injury, since the narcotics have taken away your ability to feel any warning discomfort.
Many individuals would prefer to take a more natural approach to treating their whiplash, as opposed to traditional medicine practices. Fortunately, there are a number of effective alternative treatments to choose from. Here are a few alternative treatments to choose from:
A therapist who is trained in nutrition therapy can advise a patient regarding the correct foods to eat, while they are recovering from whiplash. This nutritional approach is aimed at rebuilding damaged muscle tissue and, as such, will be high in vitamins B and E and will also include magnesium, for its muscle relaxation properties and additional fatty acids. These foods will include; sunflower seeds, green vegetables, muesli, oats and nuts.
Homeopathy and Herbal Medicine
A trained herbal medicine practitioner can recommend the right herbal remedies that will aid in whiplash recovery. These treatments are designed to relieve stress, reduce pain and aid healing. They can include Lavender Oil, St. John’s Wort and Comfrey Leaf Pulp. In addition, homeopathic remedies can include; ‘Arnica’, ‘Hypericum’ and ‘Rhus toxicodendron’.
Deep Muscle Relaxation and Muscle Strengthening
Deep tissue massage and a variety of sports medicine muscle relaxation procedures can also assist with relieving pain and promoting recovery from whiplash. In this case, you would want to visit a therapist who is trained in these types of procedures.
As you can see, there is an assortment of alternative ways to treat the pain of whiplash and promote the healing of the damaged muscles. All of these will allow one to avoid the need for utilizing narcotics that traditional medicine tends to prescribe.