Nearly 120,000 people experience whiplash every year in the United States. If you’re a part of the group of people left stiff and sore from whiplash, you don’t have to stay that way!
There are lots of simple exercises you can do to improve mobility and relieve your pain. Give these ones a try today!
Whiplash Exercises To Improve Mobility
Doctors used to believe that whiplash should be treated exclusively with bed rest and a foam collar to support the neck muscles. Now, though, they’ve discovered that this treatment option actually slows down the healing process and can cause more damage.
It’s better to start strengthening the next muscles as soon as acute symptoms of whiplash (headaches, dizziness, jaw pain, visual disturbances) go away. Exercises like the ones discussed below will help prevent lasting damage and chronic pain.
Practice them regularly while you wait for your auto accident settlement.
Chin tucks are a great exercise that stretches the muscles in the neck and upper back.
To perform chin tucks properly, sit or stand up straight and squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other. Then, slowly pull your head backward while continuing to look straight ahead. Stop pull when you feel a stretch through the back of your neck.
Hold this position for three to five seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets of 10 repetitions.
With whiplash exercises, it’s important to balance stretching the back and sides of the neck. Be sure to balance out the chin tucks with some side bending exercises.
Begin just as you did with the chin tucks — standing or sitting straight with your shoulder blades drawn together. Slowly drop your right ear towards your right shoulder, and stop when you feel a stretch along the left side of your neck.
Hold the stretch for three to five seconds, then relax and repeated 10 times on each side. Work up to three sets of 10 repetitions.
Isometric exercises are great for strengthening your neck and upper back muscles without any movement that might irritate the muscles.
For the first exercise, sit or stand up straight, pulling your shoulder blades together. Place one hand on your forehead, and press your head into your hand as if you’re trying to bend your neck forward. Don’t actually move your neck while doing this; you just want to feel the neck muscles contracting.
Hold this exercise for three to five seconds, then relax and repeat 10 times.
Next, you’ll place one hand on the back of your head. Use the same motion you used for the chin tucks and push your head back into your hand. Hold for three to five seconds, then relax and repeat 10 times.
After this, place one palm against the side of your head, just above the ear. Press your head sideways, as if you want to bring your ear toward your shoulder. Hold for three to five seconds, then relax and repeat 10 times before doing the same on the other side.
Stay Safe Out There
Once you’ve started practicing the whiplash exercises discussed above and are feeling better, you’ll be ready to hit the road again. Check out our blog for more road safety information so that you can avoid future accidents!