Many people will suffer with neck and back pain during their lifetime — especially as they get older. But sometimes things can happen that cause this pain to creep up earlier in life, such as being involved in a car wreck.
Unfortunately, car wreck-related injuries, such as whiplash and muscle strain can leave you aching for days, months or even years. Although you need to hold the responsible parties liable for your injuries, according to a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at The Barnes Firm, dealing with your injuries is also important.
Many ways exist to help deal with or reduce this type of pain. But visiting a chiropractor or using over-the-counter or prescription medications are not desirable for everyone. Luckily, you don’t have to rely on traditional medicine. Keep reading to find out about some of the best natural remedies available for neck and back pain relief following a car wreck.
- Consume or Apply Chamomile
You’re likely familiar with chamomile in the form of tea. It’s well-known for being a relaxing beverage — one that people enjoy drinking after a long, hard day. But chamomile is also an essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease pain when applied directly to the affected area. Chamomile is also great for supporting the health of your joints.
- Get Enough Sleep
Pain is one of the leading causes of insomnia, which is a difficulty with falling asleep or sleeping through the night. A lack of sleep can actually make pain worse, as sleep is a restorative process that lets your body focus on healing while at rest. Try relaxing before bed, avoiding caffeine after mid-day or listening to soothing music to help yourself get a good night’s sleep. Also try sleeping in the most comfortable position you can to help you stay asleep. It may be necessary to purchase a body pillow for support. Or you may want to consider getting a different mattress or an adjustable bed frame if you find it’s impossible to get comfortable.
- Apply Basil
Like chamomile, basil is another natural essential oil for relieving pain. If your muscles are tight or knotted, this oil is ideal for relaxation when applied directly to the skin over the problem area or rubbed right into the neck and spine. As well as being healing for your pain, basil is also great for mental fatigue. It’s no secret that being in a lot of pain or mild pain constantly is a drain on your mental energy, so using this essential oil can help you address two issues at once.
- Keep Moving
Moving through your pain is almost as important as letting your body and your muscles rest to recover. If you don’t move your muscles and try to stay mobile, you risk getting stiff. Try some gentle neck exercises tilting your head from side-to-side but not to the point where it increases your pain. Gently twist your upper body from side-to-side, or reach your arms up and stand on your toes, as if reaching for a high shelf, to give your back a gentle workout. Avoid this remedy if you’ve been specifically instructed not to move by a medical professional. But if not, then it’s generally a good idea to implement a few stretches into your routine, perhaps before applying oils or right before bed.
- Alternate Ice and Heat
Ice is well known for being incredible at relieving pain. You bump your head as a child and your parents run for the frozen peas. You twist an ankle, and they grab the frozen mixed vegetables. But both ice and heat can be good remedies for sore muscles or whiplash.
Ice should be used first for 20 minutes several times a day. For best results, begin using ice therapy within 48 hours of the initial injury. It will reduce swelling and prevent inflammation somewhat. The cool against your skin will also feel good — and if it’s too cold, maybe even serve as a distraction from your initial pain until it warms up to your body’s temperature.
You can switch to heat therapy in between ice therapy sessions. You can make a homemade heating device by filling a thick sock with plain, uncooked rice. Then, heat the filled sock on a reduced power setting in the microwave to warm it. Heating therapy sessions can be 20 minutes each, three times per day.
Alternate ice and heat therapies as you see fit — ice keeping inflammation away and heat loosening muscles and helping with blood flow. Remember to never apply ice directly to the skin, and never use something so hot that it burns your skin.