kinesiology tape being applied to a man's back

Using Kinesiology Tape to Help Manage Whiplash

Whiplash is an injury that millions of people suffer from every year. While it is nothing that will ruin your life, it can add unnecessary pain and suffering to it. Thankfully, you can treat this pain effectively with kinesiology tape. If you’re suffering from whiplash, understand the benefits of kinesiology taping could provide you with the relief you need.

Understanding Whiplash

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when your neck is violently flung forward and backward in a flash. People in car accidents experience whiplash from the resulting impact. However, it can also be experienced by various athletes and anyone who is struck by a sudden force that flings their head rapidly around.

For example, slipping on the ice and whipping your head quickly may be enough to cause this injury. When whiplash does occur, you’ll feel pain almost immediately. It will be quite severe and may grow worse until you get treatment. Thankfully, whiplash is not a severe neck injury because it cannot cause permanent disability that requires a lifetime of treatment or personal adjustments.

However, it’s an excruciating injury that requires special treatment and extended care from medical professionals. In some instances, it may result in a period of temporary disability that keeps you out of work. That’s because the muscles involved keep your neck straight and balanced. When they’re injured, you’re more likely to suffer from more adverse effects. As a result, it’s essential to use a brace or another supportive system to avoid further injury.

Another method you can use to manage much of this pain is kinesiology tape. This treatment method has become a favorite way to manage various body injuries. But is very useful for whiplash because of the ways it supports your neck and provides pain relief.

How Kinesiology Tape May Help

Kinesiology tape is a unique stretchy tape that can be applied directly to your injured area. It’s designed to help provide support to muscles and joints without limiting the range of motion.

Even better, those who are suffering from whiplash can apply kinesiology tape to their neck under their brace for extra support when their pain is unusually severe. It is particularly useful as a support system while you are sleeping because it isn’t as bulky or as uncomfortable as a brace. With kinesiology tape on your neck, you should be able to sleep more easily with whiplash than you could without it.

While this tape cannot be used as a singular treatment for whiplash, it can help provide a boost to its effectiveness. This fact is especially true if you know how to wrap it properly and without causing discomfort. This kind of tape needs to be snug to your body without being wrapped too tight. Keeping it snug helps alleviate pain and avoiding tightness avoids any strangulation problem that could occur if you pulled the tape too tightly.

Another critical thing to remember about this tape is that it has been carefully tested in multiple scientific and medical situations. As a result, its usefulness is a confirmed fact that has made it an even more vital part of managing whiplash. Understanding these studies can help you take the plunge into investing in this kind of tape. Remember that taking control of your injuries and treating them ASAP is the best way to avoid permanent changes.

Studies Confirm Kinesiology Tape Usefulness

In 2009, a study was undertaken to gauge just how useful this type of tape could be for treating the pain caused by whiplash injuries. This clinical trial, entitled “Short-Term Effects of Cervical Kinesio Taping on Pain and Cervical Range of Motion in Patients With Acute Whiplash Injury: Randomized Clinical Trial,” studied 21 females and males to see how well this pain management system worked during a 24-hour period.

Those in this study suffered from neck pain, a restricted range of motion, and developed whiplash in an accident less than 40 days before the pain started to occur. Each person in the study had been to visit a physical therapist after the injury as a way to manage this situation. They also had to take a test to gauge their Neck Disability Index or NDI to ensure that it met the levels associated with whiplash.

The group was randomly divided into two groups. The first would receive treatment with this kind of tape while the others would be treated with a type that didn’t work in the same way. The first type was “true” kinesiology tape because it provided slight tension to the muscles when applied. During the study, patients were unable to take anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 72 hours before their tests started. The level of pain experienced by each person was then assessed after 24 hours to see how well the tape worked.

When the study was finished, it was found that those who received treatment with the proper tape experienced more significant pain relief than those with the other tape. This finding confirmed the results of an earlier study and showcased the potential benefits of this type of tape. As a result, the study concluded by stating that these results indicated the possible use of this kind of tape in managing whiplash and other neck pain was very promising and should be gauged in more depth with later clinical trials.

And while this study did not gauge the usefulness of exercise for treating whiplash when paired with this tape, whiplash exercises are a common way to restore mobility to the area. Typically, you will perform a variety of stretching and movement exercises after you remove your brace and stop using your kinesiology tape so frequently. Understanding these practices makes it easier to manage your pain and restore full strength to your neck and shoulders.

Exercises May Also Be Necessary

High-quality range-of-motion exercises can keep your neck from becoming stiff after whiplash. Routines such as chin tucks, flexion, side-bending, and extensions are all great ways of working your muscles after treating them with kinesiology tape. Make sure that you are no longer using your tape or only using it occasionally before trying these routines.

Other exercises that you should perform include rotation movements that help make it easier to look over your shoulder. Make sure that you don’t push your neck too hard during these practices. Too many people try to recover by moving too fast and complicate the problem. Working with a physical therapist here can help. They can guide you towards a safe exercise intensity and prevent problems from developing.

If these more difficult exercises are too severe for you, try isometrics instead. These routines don’t use movement but strengthen muscles anyway. For example, you can place one hand on your forehead, press it gently into your head, and tighten your neck muscles to prevent movement. These more straightforward and less intensive routines are an excellent choice for that moment just after you have removed your tape and aren’t quite ready for harder workouts.

When performing these simple techniques, make sure that you take the time to gauge any pain that may occur. For example, you might feel a sharp jut of pain when stretching your injured muscles too far in one direction. If this pain occurs, take anti-inflammatory medicine and apply kinesiology tape to your neck. And if this pain doesn’t go away after a few hours, visit a doctor immediately to gauge potential complications.

Get The Help You Deserve

As you can see, this type of tape is a beneficial way to manage the symptoms of whiplash and to live a happier and healthier life. It is particularly useful for those who are looking to decrease their pain levels on their own or those who are struggling to find relief with more conservative treatment methods.