Fortunately, the mildest cases of a whiplash injury usually improve after a few days when treated with rest and painkillers or other over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. In fact, symptoms often resolve themselves quickly and no further treatment is needed.
Nevertheless, the best time to call your doctor is immediately after the injury. Once whiplash is diagnosed it is important to follow any medical advice tailored to you as symptoms do not always show up right away and the risks associated with a possible neck injury are far too great to attempt to diagnose and self-treat.
Apply a cold compress, such as an icebag wrapped in a towel, to the affected area for at least the first 72 hours after the injury - apply for 5-20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day. Wrap the compress or ice bag in a towel but do not apply the ice directly to the skin.
Avoid any activities that could aggravate the already inflamed neck muscles.
Resting your neck for the first day is usually advised but then exercising the neck gently and continuing with normal activities as far as possible is thought to be the most appropriate course of action.
Cervical collars can be picked up at your local pharmacy or medical supplies shop. However some medical practitioners believe you should keep the body and neck moving and not give it time to stiffen. They recommend carrying out neck movements (similar to those found in yoga) on a daily basis in order to retrain the neck muscles.
Massage therapy for the neck; massage can relax the muscles and can help relieve muscular pain in common types of whiplash injuries
These are a form of physical therapy for the neck (as usually prescribed by a qualified physical therapist) and can be beneficial in treating headaches resulting from whiplash - make an appointment with a physical therapist for neck muscle strengthening exercises as this will enable you to build up strength in your neck muscles, which means that it will be the less prone to inflammation.
Ultrasound therapy - has been shown to improve healing in a variety of ways, such as softening damaged tissue (which reduces strain), producing a pain-killing affect, increasing blood flow to the injured area, and increasing range of motion.
In more serious cases that result in an injury to the spinal cord, treatment may require steroid injections and/or a surgical procedure in the affected part of the neck/spine.