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How do you treat whiplash?

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You can:

  • Take over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen or naproxen, to ease the pain and swelling. If they don't help, your doctor can prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxants.
  • Use a neck brace or collar to add short-term support, if your doctor suggests it. Don't use a brace long-term. It could actually weaken your neck muscles.
  • Ice your neck to ease pain and swelling as soon as you can. Do it for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours for 2-3 days. Wrap the ice in a thin towel or cloth so you don't injure your skin.
  • After 2-3 days of icing your neck, and if your swelling has gone down, switch to moist heat. You could use warm, wet towels or take a warm bath.

From: Neck Strain and Whiplash WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians FamilyDoctor.org web site: "Concussion in Sports."  American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons web site: "Neck Strain."  Centers for Disease Control web site: "Facts about concussion and Brain Injury."  Davis, M.F., et al, , American College of Physicians Press, 2005.  Rouzier, P., second edition, SportsMed Press, 2004.




Expert Guide to Sports MedicineThe Sports Medicine Patient Advisor,

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 08, 2018

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians FamilyDoctor.org web site: "Concussion in Sports."  American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons web site: "Neck Strain."  Centers for Disease Control web site: "Facts about concussion and Brain Injury."  Davis, M.F., et al, , American College of Physicians Press, 2005.  Rouzier, P., second edition, SportsMed Press, 2004.




Expert Guide to Sports MedicineThe Sports Medicine Patient Advisor,

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 08, 2018

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