Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic staff
Many nontraditional therapies have been employed to treat whiplash pain, including:
- Acupuncture. By inserting ultrafine needles through specific locations on your skin, acupuncturists can relieve many different types of pain. But research studies have been unable to definitively show that acupuncture can help relieve persistent neck pain caused by strains.
- Chiropractic care. Many people seek chiropractic care for neck pain, and it has been shown in certain types of neck pain to work just as well as, but no better than, physical therapy. Pairing spinal manipulation with exercise provides more benefit. However, chiropractic manipulation of the neck has been associated, in very rare instances, with potentially life-threatening injuries.
- Massage. Kneading the tight muscles in your neck may be helpful if you continue to have muscle spasms for more than a week or two. Relax the muscles in your neck first by taking a hot shower or bath, or by using a moist towel warmed in the microwave.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). TENS is a device that applies a mild electric current to the skin. This nonharmful current can help to decrease some types of pain, possibly by interfering with the transmission of pain signals or by releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. TENS can help relieve chronic neck pain, but only when combined with exercise.
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