According to the harshness of your whiplash symptoms, your doctor may prescribe drugs and/or spinal shots to manage the pain. To stress this point: they won’t help heal the injury, although the medications will help relieve your pain. Instead, medicines and/or spinal injections lessen your pain so which you can work on curing the soft tissue injuries (through physical therapy, for example).
Again depending on the seriousness of your pain, you could begin with over-the-counter medicines. If those don’t work to relieve your pain, the physician may prescribe stronger drugs. The doctor may imply shots if prescription drugs don’t work. The progression of treatment depends upon your individual symptoms and pain level.
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Over-the-Counter Medications for Neck Injuries
Acetaminophen: Tylenol is a good example of an acetaminophen, a form of medicine that has turned out to be a great pain reliever. Most people refer as painkillers to acetaminophen medicines, although your doctor may call this an analgesic. They don’t help reduce inflammation, though. Acetaminophen works by essentially blocking your brain’s awareness of pain, and it is good for those pain flare-ups that will come with DDD.
Over the counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): These will reduce swelling (or inflammation) while relieving your pain. In whiplash, you could have inflammation from your soft tissue injury. If an over the counter NSAID is a choice that’s best for you personally, you have lots to select from. You can use ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, or Aleve.
By taking an NSAID, you are really building up an anti inflammatory effect in the body, so that it’s essential to choose it for awhile. Which is, NSAIDs won’t be as effective if you take them only when you have pain. Before you notice an important impact on your pain, because they work to limit inflammation and build up in your body, you might have to take NSAIDs for several weeks.
Prescription Drugs for Neck Injuries
If over-the-counter drugs don’t deal with your pain enough, the doctor may prescribe something more powerful. The precise sort of drugs depends upon your symptoms, but the doctor may have you attempt:
Muscle Relaxants: You will need a muscle relaxant, which ought to help stop the spasms if you have muscle spasms brought on by the whiplash injury. Muscle relaxants may also enable you to sleep. Valium is an example of a muscle relaxant.
Opioids (Narcotics): In the most extraordinary cases, and just under careful supervision, you physician might prescribe an opioid, such as for instance codeine or morphine. Vicodin and Percocet are instances of narcotics.
Prescription NSAIDs: NSAIDs that are stronger can be taken by you than the over-the-counter variety, in case your physician believes this is best for your pain. For instance, she or he may recommend a COX-2 Inhibitor (Celebrex is an example). That is a kind of NSAID, but it will not cause gastrointestinal side effects as other prescription NSAIDs can.
Injections and Shots for Whiplash Associated Disorders
Shots for whiplash are most powerful when coupled with exercise plan or a physical therapy which assists you to work on strengthening the neck muscles. The shot should give pain relief to you so that you could turn your focus on curing the specific injury. Several kinds of injections useful for whiplash are:
Epidural Steroid Injection: This is only one of the very common injections. An epidural steroid injection (ESI) targets the epidural space, which will be the space enclosing the membrane that covers the spine and nerve roots. Nerves go through the epidural space and after that branch out to different parts of your own body, for example your arms. If your nerve root has become compressed (pinched) in the epidural space because of a whiplash injury, you could have pain that goes down your neck and perhaps into your arms (a symptom called radiculopathy).
An epidural steroid injection sends steroids—which are very powerful anti-inflammatories— to the nerve root that’s inflamed. This really is a pain management therapy, so that it is far better have a well-trained pain management specialist do the injection. You will likely need 2-3 shots; generally, you should not have more than that because of the potential side effects of the steroids.
Facet Joint Injection: Also called facet blocks, facet joint injections are useful in case pain is being caused by your facet joints. Facet joints in your spine assist you to supply and move stability. You’ll have pain, should they get inflamed, though, because of how your cervical spine affected human body. The joint will be numbed by a facet joint injection and can diminish your pain.
Trigger Point Injection: In extreme cases of whiplash, trigger point shots are a wise decision. (Trigger points are knots of muscle underneath the skin that form when muscles usually do not relax.) The shot has a local painkiller that occasionally features a corticosteroid to decrease the inflammation.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Neck Pain and Auto Injury
After being involved in an automobile accident, the sheer force of the impact can often cause whiplash, a common type of neck injury resulting from the sudden, back-and-forth motion of the head against the body due to a car wreck, or other incident. Because of this, many of the complex structures found within the neck, including the spine, ligaments and muscles, can be stretched beyond their normal range, causing injury and painful symptoms.
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The information herein on "Prescription Drugs & Medications for Whiplash and Neck Injuries" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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