Whether it is a minor fender-bender or a devastating crash, one of the most common injuries in a car accident is whiplash. In most cases, after initial treatment, whiplash heals within a few days. However, those with severe whiplash experience significant, long-lasting pain that might last for weeks or even months.
The following are effective tips to reduce your discomfort ease the stress on your neck:
- Regularly perform neck stretches and exercises. Consistent stretching and exercise can relieve muscular tension in your neck. An easy and sufficient exercise is known as the “chin-tuck.” Lean your back against a wall with your feet positioned a few inches in front. Move your head backward until the back of your head rests on the wall. Make sure that you don’t tilt your head forward or backward. Instead, move it straight back, causing your chin to “tuck” into your neck.
- Sleep on your back or side. Do not sleep on your stomach since adequate breathing requires you to turn your head to one side, straining your neck that can aggravate your injury and pain.
- Maintain proper posture. Bad posture – such as craning your neck or slouching – can aggravate whiplash symptoms and increase neck pain. Ensure that you keep your shoulders back and your chest out to help align your spine.
- Stay hydrated. Did you know that fluids and cushions in your spinal cord are made up mostly of water? Being dehydrated reduces the flexibility of your spine, making your neck and back hurt more. Drink small amounts of water throughout each day to maintain adequate spine flexibility.