Getting quality sleep after a whiplash injury can be difficult. However, sleep is an essential ingredient for your body’s recovery process. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take to ensure that you get a restful sleep after sustaining whiplash. Below, we will discuss some things that you can do to help your body get the rest that it needs to function normally.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a painful neck injury that is typically the result of an auto accident. Symptoms include,
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Arm tingling/numbness
- Blurred vision
- Shoulder pain
Whiplash is treatable and, under the supervision of a medical professional, often goes away within a few weeks.
Tips For Sleeping with Whiplash
The pain associated with whiplash can make sleeping very difficult because many positions put increased weight and pressure on the neck area. People who suffer from whiplash must take extra measures to reduce pain so that they can get a restful night sleep.
Use a Hot or Cold Compress
A hot or cold compress can help to reduce the pain, tension, and swelling in the area. Using one for up to 20 minutes before bed, or throughout the day, can help to reduce acute pain and promote healing.
Stability is important after suffering whiplash. If you do not have proper neck support while you are sleeping, the spine can become misaligned. This will not only cause pain, but it could lead to more problems down the line. A supportive neck pillow can keep the neck properly aligned and, reduce pain. Placing a rolled up towel under your neck can be a good alternative.
Depending on your healthcare professional’s directions, you should try to be as active as possible. Studies show that active people sleep better and, have a better chance at recovery.
Sleep on a Firm Mattress
A firm mattress is essential for whiplash patients. If your mattress sags, then you should think about replacing it as soon as possible. If replacing your mattress is not an option, use firm pillows to give you a better surface on which to sleep.
Best Sleeping Positions
People who suffered whiplash must find the best position to sleep and, try to maintain that position throughout the night. These positions are have proven to reduce pain and help to speed up recovery.
Sleeping on the back helps to evenly distribute weight throughout the entire body. Other positions can put too much weight on the neck which typically causes more damage.
Sleeping on the side maintains the spine’s natural curvature. Placing a pillow between the legs also encourages proper alignment.
No matter how you choose to sleep, you must ensure that your neck is supported and in a neutral position. Lingering pain can be an indication that you need to modify your sleeping position.
Consult a Chiropractor For Whiplash Injuries
One of the best ways to treat whiplash is to visit a licensed, qualified, chiropractor. These professionals have an intimate understanding of how the body works and how to maintain proper balance throughout your entire system. They can evaluate the extent of your injury and, adjust your body in order to promote healing. They can also give you insight on how to care for yourself and, help yourself to heal.
If you have sustained an injury after a car accident, you may not know who to turn to for help. Our professional team at Manasota Accident and Injury Center can help you to identify and treat the causes of your pain. We understand how the body works and we know how to help you to reduce and eliminate your whiplash pain.