Whiplash Self-Care at Home
See a doctor to diagnose whiplash. For minor injures or strains of the neck,
without serious signs and symptoms as listed above, or without evidence of any
neurologic problems, home care may be appropriate. If there is any question
about the severity or treatment of a neck injury, see a doctor.
Home care for whiplash includes decreasing the painful symptoms of the
strain. The symptoms of whiplash can be treated with the following home
- Cold packs or ice can be applied to the neck to minimize swelling and
pain. Apply ice/cold to the neck area for 15-20 minutes. Repeat every hour,
as needed, for the first 48-72 hours after the injury.
- If there is no pre-existing condition or contraindication to their use,
over-the-counter pain medications can be used (consult
- Limit motion of the head and neck until pain and muscle tightness are
- Limit strenuous activities such as sports or heavy lifting.
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