How to Treat Whiplash After a Car Accident

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries people suffer from car accidents. It can range from a minor annoyance to a serious injury. Caused by any motion that causes the head to jerk back and forth, whiplash from a car accident can lead to worsening symptoms and more serious complications. It is therefore of utmost importance to seek proper treatment right away.

Woman in pain from whiplash at car crash scene

What Is Whiplash?

When the head moves forward and backward in rapid succession, neck muscles can be severely strained. Whiplash can involve injury to these muscles and even stretching of the tendons and ligaments they’re connected to. In some cases, these vital tendons and ligaments can tear. Although symptoms usually alleviate in weeks or months, some people experience chronic pain or headaches for years after the initial injury. Evidence of whiplash, including damage and inflammation, can be a seen on X-ray, MRI, and CT scan images.

What Does Whiplash Feel Like?

If you have whiplash, your neck can hurt or feel stiff. You may feel like you have a headache at the base of your skull. Other symptoms include a decreased range of motion, pain when moving your head from side to side or back and forth, or even dizziness, fatigue, and blurred vision. Some people experience less-common symptoms including difficulty sleeping, irritability, difficulty with concentration or memory, or ringing in the ears.

How to Treat Whiplash

Before you file a lawsuit with your Los Angeles personal injury attorney, it is important to start treatment for your whiplash. After an accident, the release of adrenaline and cortisol prevent you from feeling pain. You may not feel the full effects of the injury for days. Immediate treatment is important because the swelling, which is a protective response, can put pressure on injured areas; or, damage to soft tissues can get worse.

To care for whiplash yourself:

  • Apply ice or a cold compress to the area for the first 24 hours
  • Apply moist heat after 2-3 days of icing
  • Take an over-the-counter pain killer
  • Sleep while supported by a neck collar or rolled up towel.
  • Avoid physical work that strains the area.

Gentle exercise can help to strengthen your neck and stretch injured muscles, while helping soft tissue heal. It should be done based only on the advice of your doctor.

Doctors can treat whiplash by:

  • Advising you to wear a neck brace (often only intermittently)
  • Prescribing physical therapy or massage therapy
  • Providing chiropractic treatments
  • Prescribing pain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Giving injections to block pain and promote healing

While you may be tempted to keep the area immobile, healthcare professionals will often advise you to exercise and give the affected area some use. Complete immobilization can inhibit healing. If you decide to try an exercise regimen to help your neck heal, or plan to resume normal physical activity such as contact sports, consult with a doctor first.

Let The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani Help You Get Proper Compensation

If your neck injury has prevented you from working or resuming daily activities, our car accident attorney in Los Angeles can provide representation and fight for the compensation you deserve. The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani represents car accident clients throughout California. If you live in Los Angeles or Orange County and have whiplash from a car accident, allow us to provide a free consultation in your home or office, assess your injuries, and build a case that can outsmart the insurance companies. Call 888-952-2952 today to get started!