Bouncing Back from Whiplash, Naturally
Whiplash is an injury that results from the quick back and forth jerking movement of the neck, like the motion of a whip cracking. It’s usually associated with car accidents and often goes untreated because the pain isn’t always noticed right away. Common symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, tenderness and stiffness, headache, dizziness, shoulder and/or arm pain or numbness, and blurred vision. If you have been unfortunate enough to suffer from whiplash, take note of the natural ways you can kick that pain to the curb.
To reduce swelling and pain, apply ice 20 minutes at a time, every hour as needed for the first 48 – 72 hours. Use heat after that to relax the muscles and restore flexibility.
Using a variety of relaxation techniques, you can soothe the muscles and encourage healing. Several methods, ranging from altered focus and mindful medication to symbolic imagery, can help you focus your energy and attention away from the pain and onto rebuilding your damaged tissue. Even something as simple as rhythmic deep breathing can help increase blood flow to the damaged area and promote cleansing.
To rebuild strength in the muscles try yoga. Viniyoga, specifically, is the most gentle of the yoga styles and is great for making slow, smooth movements to very carefully retrain the damaged muscle and tissue without creating more stress on the affected area.
When you don’t want to use prescription or over the counter pain relievers, try one from Mother Nature. Capsaicin, that magic ingredient in hot peppers, can also make pain disappear. For those of you that have been to my office, you know I usually rub Sombra on your neck or back following your treatment. You can get it here, it’s a great natural topical analgesic for pain. When used topically, just apply to the affected area every four to six hours. We also recommend Relax Already, a natural muscle relaxant that has a combination of herbal ingredients along with magnesium that not only helps relax tight, sore muscles, but also helps ease the tension and stress associated with pain.
A professional masseuse can pinpoint which muscle groups to work and help relax them without causing pain. The relaxation of the muscles will encourage healing and regrowth.
Spinal realignment, McKenzie exercises, stabilization and sensorimotor exercises can all be useful for the treatment of whiplash. The chiropractors in our office specialize in treating whiplash injuries and will do specific spinal adjustments designed to restore normal joint movement and function in your neck. You may also be prescribed specific exercises that you can do by yourself at home. This combination of treatments will help correct improper movement caused by the whiplash injury.
To rid yourself of whiplash pain and heal the damaged muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves there are a variety of natural therapies available. You may find that what works best for someone else may not be what you need, so be patient and try a few different things. You may find that your particular treatment requires a combination of therapies.
While it’s a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional for a diagnosis, you don’t have to rely on costly medications with crazy side effects. When seeking any kind of treatment involving the manipulation of bones or muscle tissue, always be sure to see a professional.