Whiplash Medical Treatment
The medical treatment for whiplash depends on the severity of the injury.
Severe neck injuries associated with bone or spinal cord damage may require
surgical intervention. Less severe injuries are often limited to soft tissue
injuries (muscles, ligaments, tendons) and treatment is directed at symptom
Your doctor may prescribe a treatment plan including:
- Pain medications (over-the-counter or prescription)
pain medication may be necessary with severe whiplash
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) should be
part of the treatment if the patient is able to take them
- Muscle relaxers
- Benzodiazapine medications such as
diazepam (Valium) may help muscle
tightness and spasm
- Other muscle relaxer drugs may also be used
- A cervical collar may be used for the first few days, but use
should be limited to the time period prescribed
- 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.
- Limit motion of the head and neck until pain and muscle tightness
- Limit strenuous activities such as sports or heavy lifting.
- Physical therapy with range of motion exercises, muscle strengthening,
ultrasound, or electrical stimulation may be prescribed.
- Non-traditional medical treatments such as chiropractic, massage, or
acupuncture may be helpful for some patients in the treatment of whiplash.
Consult your doctor.
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