Chiropractic Care After an Auto Accident

Millions of people are injured in motor vehicle accidents each year. During the impact of a collision, the ligaments and muscles around the spine are often stretched and torn, causing soft tissue damage that results in intense pain and inflammation. Many of these injuries do not show up on X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.

Chiropractors often treat spinal injuries suffered in car accidents and their approach is particularly well suited for the care of this type of injury. They use therapies that have proved successful in relieving the intense pain and stiffness associated with car accidents.

What Happens to the Spine in a Car Accident?

Car accidents involve rapid changes in acceleration and deceleration. While the body is held in place by a seat belt, the head and neck are free to move back and forth. The neck often takes the brunt of the impact when the force of a rear-impact accident abruptly causes the cervical spine to jerk backwards and forward, resulting in an injury commonly known as whiplash.

Injuries resulting from auto accidents can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve, the largest-diameter nerve in the body, which is responsible for sensation in the legs. This pressure causes sciatica, which often manifests as pain that radiates from the lower back down to the back of the leg. Fortunately, most patients suffering with sciatica will see reduced pain and inflammation within six to eight weeks of starting chiropractic treatment.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than three weeks. Unfortunately, auto accident victims are 80 percent more likely to experience the onset of chronic pain than those who experience other physically traumatic events. While opioid painkillers often are prescribed to manage chronic pain, the CDC recommends conservative care options such as chiropractic as the first line of defense against pain.

While traditional medical care and pain medication can relieve an accident victim’s painful symptoms, chiropractic adjustments treat the underlying spinal injury, not only helping to reduce pain but also restoring normal function by relieving pressure on the nerves and muscles, and bringing the spine back into alignment. Used in combination with complementary therapies, chiropractors can help restore full range of motion to the body after a car accident.

Safe and Effective Relief

According to the American Chiropractic Association, drug-free, noninvasive chiropractic care is one of the safest treatment options available to car accident victims, who often suffer from:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches, especially at the base of the skull
  • Whiplash
  • Herniated disk
  • Musculoskeletal pain and stiffness

Besides being safe, chiropractic care can also be extremely effective, often yielding favorable results for both acute and chronic patients. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics concluded:

Acute and chronic chiropractic patients experienced better outcomes in pain, functional disability, and patient satisfaction; clinically important differences in pain and disability improvement were found for chronic patients.

Patient Testimonial

Have You Been in an Accident?

To learn more about how chiropractic care can provide safe and effective care for painful auto accident injuries, please contact us today to schedule an appointment, or stop by any of our clinics located throughout the state of Virginia and in North Carolina.

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