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06 April 2009

Treatment of Whiplash


First aid

In the first 24 hours after the injury, an ice bag applied to the neck will help to relieve inflammation. Bags of frozen peas make particularly good ice packs because they mold to the body. An ice bag should first be wrapped in a towel or cloth to avoid direct contact between the skin and the ice. The patient should lie in bed

with their head resting on the ice bag for 20 minutes at a time, with the head also supported by a pillow.

Medication

Treatment for individuals with whiplash may include pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and a cervical collar (usually worn for 2 to 3 weeks). Range of motion exercises, physical therapy, and cervical traction may also be prescribed. Supplemental heat application may relieve muscle tension.

Exercise

  • Stand against a door or a wall
  • with your head facing forward and move your eyes so you look towards the two, four, eight, and 10 o'clock positions. Repeat this a few times. This eye movement causes a slight movement in some deep muscles in the back of the head.
  • Next, take a step forward and perform the following movements.
  • Bend the back of the head carefully forward as if taking a bow. Return to the starting position with your head straight and facing forward.
  • Draw the chin in towards your neck and bend the head carefully forward. Return to the starting position. Bend the head backwards far enough to look at the ceiling. Return to the starting position.
  • Tilt the head sideways, so the right ear is near the right shoulder. If possible try to maintain the glance at a fixed point at eye level. Return to the starting position. Repeat this action with the head tilted to the other side.
  • Turn the head as if trying to look backwards over the shoulder, first to the left and then to the right. Imagine following a horizontal line on the wall at eye level.
  • You can also use a beach ball or a soft ball to exercise the head and neck muscles. Place the ball between the wall and the forehead and then try to move it around on the wall in circles or figures of eights. Repeat the exercise, this time placing the ball between the back of the head and the wall.

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