It is no secret that the winter months see a rise in car accident occurrences compared to any other month of the year. It could be due to the rush of the holiday season, the shortened days, or the difficult driving conditions in winter. If,unfortunately,you do find yourself involved in a car accident, it is important to get yourself checked out for a whiplash injury.
Research indicates that successful whiplash recovery requires patient co-operation and active efforts to resume regular activity. The treating health care professional will assess your whiplash injuries, discussing your options for treatment and the control of pain. Although prescription medications are usually unnecessary, temporary use of a mild over-the-counter medication may be suggested, in addition to ice or heat. Some whiplash sufferers are reluctant to return to activity, but if your health professional advises it – become active.
- Continuing normal activities is important to recovery.
- Injured muscles can stiffen up and become weak if they are not used, only adding to the painand delaying your recovery.
- Returning to normal activity can also be assisted by active treatment and exercise. Physical exercise releases chemicals in the body that can help reduce pain in a natural manner.
- Cervical collars or neck braces are not usually recommended, as they have shown little benefit.
- Avoid sitting in one position for too long.
- Stand up and stretch from time to time, whether you are watching TV or sitting at your computer.
- When you are at your workstation, sit so that the upper part of your arm restsclose to your body and make sure that your back and feet are well supported.
- If you are well enough to drive again, adjust the car seat so that your elbows and knees are loosely bent.
When to Rest
- Avoid contact sports or strenuous exercise for the first few weeks after your injury in order to prevent further aggravation.
- Ask your health professional about alternate recreational, sports or fitness activities you can do while you heal.
- Make your sleeping area as comfortable as you can – your pillow should be adjusted to support your neck at a comfortable height.
And remember: stay connected to family, friends, andco-workers to avoid the blues, and focus on getting on with your life, rather than focusing on the injury.