According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractors treat over 35 million Americans of various ages each year. The figure includes many individuals recovering from common car accident injuries. In fact, New Jersey reported over 190,700 car crashes in 2020 (excluding private property).
Workers Comp Doctor provides a directory of chiropractors that treat car accident injuries. The service aids a person’s recovery from a car accident injury through chiropractic care and other services at the multidisciplinary facility. Here, the team discusses the types of injuries people experience from a car accident and how an experienced chiropractor can help.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries That Benefit From Chiropractic Care
One of the most common car accident injuries is whiplash, and the condition can vary in severity. It affects the cervical spine (in the neck) after sudden movements. Many people get whiplash during rear-end collisions due to the neck moving forward and backward in quick succession.
If you have whiplash, you might be experiencing mild to severe neck pain. Sometimes, the discomfort becomes bad enough to restrict how you turn your head. If that’s the case, you’ll often feel muscle stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Other whiplash symptoms include the following:
- Numbness or tingling in your arms
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, roughly eight out of ten people will have back pain at some point in their lives for many reasons, including a crash. You could injure your back without hurting your spinal cord, but that doesn’t mean the problem isn’t serious.
A muscle strain or sprain in your back might seem minor enough to ignore. However, your pain will likely become more persistent over time.
You could visit a primary care physician, who might prescribe a medication or topical ointment for pain relief. However, this route might be temporary. With a chiropractor managing your treatment, you can be confident your treatment plan will target the source of your back pain and not only try to dull its symptoms.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries can create endless problems in your body because it’s one of the most vital parts of your musculoskeletal system. During a car crash, your spine could experience a ligament tear, or a disc could slip out of place. You could also see spinal cord bruising, fractures, and compression, which are dangerous and extremely painful.
A spinal cord injury is more severe than back pain from strained or bruised muscles. Without intervention, it could lead to a serious condition like paralysis. Immediate medical attention is a must, but it might be wise to include chiropractic care in this treatment plan if you would like to accelerate your recovery.
Muscle Ache or Soreness
The adrenaline you feel in the midst of a car collision can mask the pain, stiffness, and discomfort that accompanies the most common car accident injuries. However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t hurt.
Many people experience a general feeling of pain and soreness within 24 to 48 hours of an accident. Even minor accidents like fender benders can produce this feeling because the impact still jolts the body unnaturally, and the sudden tension must find release.
While it might seem unnecessary to seek care from a chiropractor after a minor accident, you could have an injury and not know it! A chiropractor can eliminate the possibility of severe injury during a comprehensive exam. They’ll then create a chiropractic care plan that helps your body heal.
It could take days or weeks to realize you have a problem with one or more joints after a car accident. The pain could result from inflammation, which is the body’s natural immune system response to injuries and illnesses. Your joint could also have a ligament or tendon tear or a fracture.
When you visit a chiropractor specializing in car crash injuries, they can quickly identify the cause of your joint pain. Your treatment plan may include chiropractic manipulations. You may also need to do light exercises and stretches at home to strengthen your joints and manage your pain.
Neck Pain and Headaches
Based on a Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic report, nearly 30% of Americans say they would visit a chiropractor for neck pain. If you hit your head or get whiplash from the accident, you’ll likely have neck pain and headaches, and this is a great reason to see a chiropractic professional.
Soft tissue therapy and manual therapy are two ways a chiropractor can help with neck pain or headaches. The American Chiropractic Association also puts forward spinal manipulation as a possibility to treat headaches due to neck pain.
Countless front and backseat passengers complain of knee pain if they’re in a car accident. The impact from the collision can force your knees onto the seat or dashboard, leading to broken bones, torn ligaments, and muscle strain.
Even a minor collision can cause knee pain due to bruising, potentially causing the following problems:
- Difficulty bending or straightening your leg
- Difficulty walking if you can’t put pressure on the affected knee
Untreated knee pain could also develop into a chronic pain condition that makes it hard to walk, stand, sit, or even lie down comfortably.
How Chiropractic Care Works
Following an auto collision, you should seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t feel hurt or experience symptoms of an injury. Some conditions, like traumatic brain injury, don’t always produce symptoms right away. Physicians will diagnose it after an examination and testing.
Chiropractors also conduct evaluations to diagnose their patients’ injuries. These professionals see many cases of common car accident injuries each day and know how to spot signs of an injury or find the source of chronic pain. When visiting a chiropractor for the first time after an accident, expect the following:
- A thorough physical exam to find the source of your pain
- A personalized treatment plan involving manual adjustments to realign your musculoskeletal system into its natural position.
- Specific chiropractic techniques or other services like massage therapy.
People will often notice an immediate difference in how they feel after a chiropractic adjustment. They also notice an improvement in their posture, range of motion, and pain level.
How Chiropractors Help Treat Car Collision Injuries
You’ll experience many benefits when you work with a chiropractor to help you recover from a car crash injury. However, the primary benefit is pain relief.
Soft tissue injuries are incredibly common in car accidents, and chiropractic adjustments can deliver fast relief without surgical intervention or medication. Other reasons to work with a car accident chiropractor include the following benefits:
- Less inflammation: When you have an injury, your body’s natural way to heal itself is by sending inflammatory cells to the area to heal tissue damage. Inflammation causes discomfort and swelling, which chiropractic adjustments can reduce by helping release cytokines to slow down the immune system’s response.
- Mobility improvement: It’s common for injuries to make your joints feel stiff, resulting in restricted movement and a limited range of motion. Through chiropractic care, you can regain and improve your function in these joints.
- Scar tissue reduction: Sometimes, scar tissue develops as injuries heal. Chiropractic techniques like the Graston technique can help your body break down scar tissue.
Turn to Workers Comp Doctor When You Need a Car Accident Chiropractor Near Me
Workers Comp Doctor offers a directory of qualified, licensed therapists and chiropractors who can provide a detailed assessment of your condition after the car accident. Our doctors will create a personalized treatment plan with the aim of improving your quality of life and accelerating your body’s healing processes.
Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection), so call (888) 590-4030 today to request an appointment with a chiropractor near you. Same-day appointments may be available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Have To See a Chiropractor for Whiplash After a Car Crash?
It helps to see a chiropractor for whiplash after a car crash. Seeking medical treatment and chiropractic care immediately following an accident is the best way to avoid long-term complications.
When Should You Visit a Chiropractor After an Auto Collision?
You should visit a chiropractor within three days after an auto collision. You might not notice you were injured in a car accident until symptoms develop within that time frame, so don’t delay in seeking a medical professional’s opinion.
What Shouldn’t You Do After a Chiropractic Adjustment?
After a chiropractic adjustment, you shouldn’t make any quick, jerky movements or heavy lifting, particularly if you have one of the common car accident injuries mentioned above. It could affect how fast your body adjusts to being in alignment.