A whiplash injury can directly affect your daily life as well as your sleep schedule. Whiplash makes it painfully clear how much we actually use our neck. Whether you’ve been in a car accident, have taken a nasty fall, or have whiplash from a sports injury, it can near about make sleeping seem impossible. Luckily, it’s easy and very possible to get a good night’s sleep with whiplash.
Sleeping with whiplash injury is all about supporting your neck and head properly. You can do this perfectly with neck pillows, orthopedic pillows, or rolled up towels. But you’ll also need to be active and proactive during the day to help your neck heal so it doesn’t prevent you from sleeping at night!
What is Whiplash injury?
Before talking about how to sleep with whiplash injury let’s talk about what is whiplash.
The condition of a neck sprain is medically called “whiplash”, it occurs when there is a rapid jerk in the neck once backward and then immediately forward.
This problem occurs in most cases during a collision or accident with a car or other vehicle, especially when a vehicle hits from behind.
Apart from this, neck sprains can also happen during physical violence, during sports or while riding in an amusement car.
Neck sprains are generally considered to be a common problem and are often left untreated due to poor understanding of the condition.
In addition to neck pain, there are some other symptoms of neck sprain, such as stiffness in the neck, damaged muscles and ligaments, headache and dizziness, etc.
To test for a neck sprain, the doctor examines your neck properly. The doctor may also do an X-ray or CT scan of the neck to properly diagnose the condition. Apart from this, some other tests can also be done.
How do you check if you have a neck injury?
Normally our joints at the back of the neck easily glide over each other and are best self lubricated but a whiplash injury forces them together damaging the surrounding area which actually includes nerves, muscles, ligaments and discs. There are very small or tiny receptors in the ligaments in the neck called proprioceptors. During a whiplash injury, the ligaments can be easily damaged affecting the functioning of these proprioceptors.
So, this can often occur as a result of some kind of very traumatic effect: During a road accident because of traffic; however, it’s often seen in contact sports where the head is snapped back during a collision; however, this type of injury (whiplash injury) can even happen if you have a slip or a fall and your head is suddenly jolted.
How long does whiplash last?
Most whiplash injuries get easily better on their own but some really do persist. Severe pain that actually lasts for many months may be unusual but it can mean you really can’t live your daily life to the full. That includes being able to take a good night’s sleep properly.
How to Sleep with Whiplash Injury Pain
How do you take care of yourself after whiplash?
As you properly recover from a neck injury like whiplash, you may find certain sleeping positions can make your pain and discomfort easily worse and keep you up at night. When you see your car accident doctor about proper treatment for whiplash, they may also talk to you about proper recommendations for how to sleep with whiplash pain and best sleeping position for whiplash injury. Getting a good night’s enough sleep and making time to rest are important parts of the perfectly healing process from any kind of injury. If you were diagnosed with whiplash, read on to learn more about how car accident injuries can disturb your night’s sleep and what you can do about it.
Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop just within days of the injury, and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of essential motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often actually starting at the base of the skull
- Tenderness or a little bit of pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
Why is Whiplash Worse at Night?
Many people find and feel that their whiplash pain gets actually worse at night and in the mornings. When it really gets worse at night, this is generally because you’re frequently changing sleeping positions, putting pressure on the injured or damaged area, or stressing the damaged ligaments by laying down in the position in which you generally or normally sleep.
How do I fix my neck after whiplash?
In the early morning, whiplash pain is really worse because the muscles stiffen overnight, making the discomfort more and more painful until you can gently stretch your body and muscles out to loosen them up.
Tips for Better Sleep with Whiplash Pain
Here are four effective tips for how to get better sleep at night while you are dealing with whiplash pain after a car accident. How to prevent whiplash after a car accident? Let’s see how to get rid of whiplash fast and How can I speed up my whiplash recovery?
1. Use cold and hot compresses
Is a hot and cold bath good for whiplash? Gently applying ice and heat to an injured or affected area can easily help in a number of ways. Cold compresses help to perfectly soothe aches and pains with a numbing effect while also reducing any other damage or inflammation in the area. When you apply a hot compress, it actually helps the muscles to relax and you may be able to find a more comfortable sleep position. Use properly cold and hot compresses on your neck, upper back, and shoulders or affected areas before you go to sleep to help soothe any lingering pain and relax your body and muscles.
2. Stretch with foam rollers
How do you relax whiplash and how to treat head and neck injuries? We can try this whiplash treatment at home also. Stretching your neck and upper back just before you go to sleep can really help prevent stiffness from developing throughout the night. Much of the pain actually associated with a whiplash injury is associated with how your muscles become sore and stiff after the starting days or initial injury. Gentle, therapeutic stretches with foam rollers can really help you to perfectly prepare for a good night’s sleep by easing tension in your aching muscles. You will feel relaxed after stretching with foam rollers. You can try towel roll neck traction also to reduce whiplash pain.
3. Support with neck pillows
Whiplash home treatment: There are certain types of helpful pillows specifically designed to address certain sleep positions. If you really find that sleeping on your side or stomach may make you painful or your pain worse, then consider investing in a neck pillow that simply provides more support. Neck pillows with built-in support have a concave structure to them that easily helps keep the neck in a proper position or stable whether you are sleeping on your back or side. A neck pillow also provides more support and is helpful by keeping the spine in your neck and back in a more neutral alignment.
4. Best position to sleep in with whiplash
Certain sleeping positions can actually make your whiplash pain worse, so you may want to consider trying something different to see if it really helps. Many doctors suggest some sleeping positions and recommend sleeping on your back with a neck pillow. This neutral position really helps your spine to perfectly stay in a more natural alignment. You may also sleep on your side if you really can keep your spine in a neutral position. Use a small pillow between your legs and knees to simply help keep your lower back and hips in alignment as well.
If you are really having difficulty sleeping after a car accident, then you should talk to your doctor about this. Your doctor may want to perfectly incorporate stretches and exercises or other effective techniques into your treatment for whiplash so you can easily experience lasting pain relief and a full recovery.
How do you treat untreated whiplash?
Gently ice your neck or back to reduce pain and swelling as soon as you can after the injury. Do it for 15 minutes every 3-4 hours for only 2-3 days. Wrap the ice perfectly in a thin towel or cloth to prevent injury to the skin.
How long do you stay in the hospital for whiplash?
Whiplash Recovery Time: Very few people have serious whiplash problems and any long-term complications from whiplash. Usually, whiplash recovery time is anywhere from a few days to several weeks. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, most people easily recover fully within 3 months. You just have to stay in hospital for 2 to 3 months only.
Whiplash Injury Sleeping Positions
The position you fall asleep in can really make pain worse, leading to the morning being even more painful and uncomfortable. There are certain sleeping positions after whiplash injury that can help the back and neck to be supported throughout the night and feel less tense and comfortable in the morning.
So, sleeping on your back in a proper way helps to release extra tension from building up in the neck and other parts of the body like the back. Proper enough support and alignment are still very important when lying on your back, it can easily help alleviate pain in the neck. Your pillows can be adjusted to accommodate better and perfect alignment. This proper position also prevents arching of the back, which places strong strain on the spine and causes back muscles to work harder.
Can you move your neck when you have whiplash?
Should I move my neck if I have whiplash? Evolving medical research perfectly shows it can really help to carefully stretch or move your sore neck muscles soon after a whiplash injury. You may be easily able to start gentle neck movements the next day. Follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid injuring your neck further.
How long should I be off work for whiplash?
Wait 72 Hours: That’s when your body actually will become the most vulnerable. Instead of going to office or work following an accident, head home. Even if you don’t feel pain or bad now, you might later; this is often the case with whiplash, the symptoms of which may not arise for 24 hours.
How can I make my neck feel better after whiplash?
Either heat or cold is applied properly to the neck for just 15 minutes every three hours. So heat or cold can help you feel better. You can take over-the-counter pain medications. Over-the-counter effective pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), often can control mild to moderate whiplash pain.
How do you know if whiplash is serious?
What are the signs and symptoms of a serious head neck or spinal injury? To keep your spine comfortable and in a neutral position, sleeping on your side can also be really beneficial and improve alignment. Placing a pillow between your legs and knees is a great way to stay aligned in this position as well. If you feel or notice pain or stiffness, numbness, or tingling in your shoulders, arms, or legs all these signs are serious and you can simply continue stretching and slightly adjusting to get more comfortable.
It is not suggested or recommended that you sleep on your stomach during recovery, as the position causes the back to arch and places strain on the neck.
Easing Whiplash Pain
While your whiplash chiropractor can’t be there during your sleep or whiplash pain, they will help you create an effective treatment plan that complements these habits. Orthopedics, chiropractors and orthopedists work specifically with accident victims and are easily able to tailor recovery plans to your exact needs. A good and perfect sleeping routine is supported by effective personalized plans. If you have really recently suffered from whiplash and are struggling to sleep comfortably, or experiencing other signs or symptoms, call Orthopedics today. Why you should see a chiropractor after a car accident?
What Can I Do During the Day to Reduce Whiplash Pain?
During the day it’s really important to pay attention to any extra strain that may be placed upon the body. A posture should be actually focused on throughout the day, especially when working at a desk or on one shitting or place for more than 50% of the day.
Proper shoes with perfect extra comfort will really help in keeping that proper balance when walking and sitting. The right and perfect shoes will also easily assist with maintaining proper alignment and perfect body posture or good posture throughout the body.
Stretching on a daily basis or including stretching in your routine is also a brilliant way to easily loosen the muscles in the neck and relieve whiplash pain. There are many stretches and plenty of simple neck pain stretches you can do to help manage whiplash and other back and neck pain problems. Stretching will easily alleviate the pain throughout the day and it’s also a good idea and proper treatment to do some stretches immediately before you go to bed. However, it’s very important and needs to know that you don’t overexert yourself when stretching because you can do some more damage to your body. Always start slowly and gently with a small stretch and if you feel or notice an increase in pain, stop right away.
Be sure to stretch perfectly and take enough time to take the extra steps discussed and you’ll be on your way to better sleep at night! Always know that sleeping issues or sleeping problems or sleep disorders that go beyond what you can fix by reading a blog, must be diagnosed and treated perfectly and correctly to make any difference. Contact and speak with one of the board-certified sleep specialists today.
How many hours a day should you wear a neck brace for whiplash?
Some experts recommend or suggest limiting use to no more than 72 hours, while others say it may be worn up to nearly about three hours a day for a few weeks. Your doctor can instruct you perfectly on how to properly use the collar, and for how many hours or how long.
Can you get a lump on your neck from whiplash?
Yes, but not in all cases. In many cases, a small lump in the neck is a swollen lymph node that simply could be a sign or symptom you’re fighting an infection.
Can you get whiplash from lifting weights?
No, it’s not really excessive grunting or putting weights back in the wrong place. One of the most common and frequent mistakes made by people who lift weights is poor neck alignment.
Can you get whiplash from jumping on a trampoline?
This can actually occur when someone is thrown from the trampoline and their head snaps forward and then quickly back. Sometimes get cuts and scrapes. When someone falls off the trampoline and lands on a sharp object it will be very dangerous and it will easily get whiplash.
Is Tiger Balm good for whiplash?
Tiger Balm adhesive patches may be the most useful and effective for muscle pains and strains, as a patch steadily releases the active ingredients over a prolonged period.
How to prevent whiplash when snowboarding?
How do you heal a neck injury fast? Whiplash is actually a strain of the neck muscles and possibly a sprain of the ligaments. When minor, your neck will benefit from letting it rest and simply heal (and not crashing again). If you really have to hold your head with your arms to get out of bed, that’s often a sign of serious whiplash and ligamentous instability or fracture. Go see a doctor.
Can sex cause whiplash?
Sexual activity is unlikely to result in whiplash or in spinal injuries. In some cases a cervical fracture-subluxation and spinal cord injury following heavy sexual activity.
Can a neck injury make your chest hurt?
Not all pain like neck and chest pain is caused by neck injury or cervical radiculopathy. When neck and chest pain really occur together, it can be a possible symptom of a heart attack. If you really experience chest and neck pain with other signs or heart attack symptoms, make sure to seek immediate medical assistance or a healthcare provider.
Actually, out of 131 million emergency department visits, over 5 million of them actually involved head and neck injuries. These painful injuries can quickly and easily get serious. In fact, they can even directly cause chest pain.
How neck sprain or whiplash treated?
The main goal of treating whiplash is to relieve stiffness and pain in the neck, as well as to repair damaged muscles, ligaments and tendons. Neck sprains or whiplash pain usually go away with normal treatment or on their own in some time.
Still, neck sprains or whiplash are treated with the help of:
- After spraining the neck or whiplash, presh it with ice as soon as possible, by doing this the pain and swelling are reduced. Wrap the ice in a thin towel or cloth and compress it every 3 to 4 hours for 15 minutes.
- Warm and moist things can also be applied to the neck to treat fissures, but before that it is suggested to apply ice. When the initial swelling of the sprain goes away, you can also do warm compresses on it. You can use a damp and warm towel or take a bath in hot water to make a hot compress of the neck.
- Your doctor may recommend using a neck brace if you have a sprained neck. Keeping the neck moving normally helps to treat epilepsy.
- Some types of painkillers are also available to reduce the pain caused by a sprain in the neck, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. If these medicines do not work, then the doctor may prescribe some stronger medicines than them.
- Physiotherapy and stretching exercises are also included in the treatment of epilepsy.
When to see doctor for whiplash?
If you are experiencing any of the following problems, you should see a doctor immediately:
- If pain and other symptoms have started occurring in the neck as well as in the shoulders and other parts of the body.
- frequent neck stiffness and pain
- pain in moving head
- severe neck pain
- Swelling and pain in the shoulders, arms, and legs
- bowel and urinary problems
- weakness or numbness in the arms
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