· Education, resumption of normal activity, and mobilization exercises are generally the treatment of choice.
· Ultrasound has also been shown to relieve muscle pain for whiplash-associated disorders.
· First-line treatments include analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, ice, and heat.
· Other controversial analgesic measures include muscle relaxants, which have been shown to have some therapeutic effect in limited studies.
· Biofeedback has also demonstrated effectiveness when used in conjunction with other modalities in acute WAD.
· Injection of lidocaine intramuscularly was also found to relieve pain symptoms.
· Most treatments alone appeared to have moderate effectiveness with combinations of treatment measures improving efficacy and early mobilization consistently most effective
Physical therapy management: Physical therapy can help you feel better and may prevent further injury. Your physical therapist will guide you through exercises to strengthen your muscles, improve posture and restore normal movement.
Exercises may include:
· Rotating your neck in both directions
· Tilting your head side to side
· Bending your neck toward your chest
· Rolling your shoulders
· In some cases, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be used. TENS applies a mild electric current to the skin. Limited research suggests this treatment may temporarily ease neck pain and improve muscle strength.
· The number of physical therapy sessions needed will vary from person to person. Your physical therapist can also create a personalized exercise routine that you can do at home.
· Foam collars
Soft foam cervical collars were once commonly used for whiplash injuries to hold the neck and head still. However, studies have shown that keeping the neck still for long periods of time can decrease muscle strength and interfere with recovery.
Still, use of a collar to limit movement may help reduce pain soon after your injury, and may help you sleep at night. Recommendations for using a collar vary though. Some experts suggest limiting use to no more than 72 hours, while others say it may be worn up to three hours a day for a few weeks.