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Dr. Summer TurnerJul 6, 2023 11:56:33 AM11 min read

How Chiropractic Care Can Help After a Car Accident

In the aftermath of a high-velocity car accident, your car wasn't the only thing that took a hit. Your body did too. Imagine this: you're hurling down a bowling alley at breakneck speed, your body is the ball, and somewhere out there is an invisible set of pins. You crash, and. your body is jolting, bouncing, twisting - then sudden stillness. Now picture the resulting chaos inside your body, not unlike the scattered pins and crushed bowling ball left behind at the alley. It's a world away from normality, and somehow, you have to get back in line and strike again. This is where chiropractic care steps in, serving as the reset button to restore balance within your body.

From restoring you to your full mobility to alleviating pain and combating unseen injuries before they manifest into significant problems, chiropractic care is a reliable medical care resource on your way to recovery post-car accident restoring you to an overall better quality of life.

5 Key Takeaways:

  • After an auto accident, chiropractic care can help realign the spine, promote healing, decrease inflammation and pain, and restore lost mobility due to injury.
  • Seeking chiropractic care soon after an accident can prevent long-term complications and improve recovery outcomes.
  • Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents that can cause severe pain and long-term problems if left untreated.
  • Chiropractic care can effectively treat whiplash and its symptoms, spine misalignments, herniated discs, and other complications caused by car accidents, providing pain relief and promoting natural healing.
  • Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to significantly reduce pain, improve mobility, and serve as a safer alternative to prescription pain medication after a car accident.

Quick Key Summary:

A professional assessment and support from a skilled chiropractic team can significantly improve recovery outcomes and provide non-invasive treatment options for those seeking safe and efficient healing from injuries sustained in an accident.



Table of Contents:

Common Types of Injuries After an Auto Accident

Whiplash and Spinal Misalignments

Disc Injuries and Fractures

Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care Post Accident

Pain Alleviation and Mobility Restoration

Prevention of Future Complications

Techniques Employed in Chiropractic Adjustments

What to Anticipate in a Chiropractic Consultation Post-Accident




Common Types of Injuries After an Auto Accident

Car accidents are a common occurrence, and the injuries sustained from them can be life-altering. While some may walk away with minor bumps and bruises, others may experience more severe injuries that can cause chronic pain and long-term complications. The most common car accident injuries affect the neck and spine, including whiplash, spinal misalignments, disc injuries, bone fractures, ligament tears, muscle strains, and nerve pain.

Often, you may have soft tissue injuries, also known as acute injuries or trauma, that you may not detect right away. The adrenaline after a crash can cause shock and mask pain symptoms. It's essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident so you can receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan before your condition worsens.



Whiplash and Spinal Misalignments

Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions and other types of impact. Symptoms of whiplash may not become noticeable for several hours or even days after the accident. Whiplash occurs when the neck is suddenly forced forward and backward, causing strain on the neck's muscles, ligaments, and joints. It can cause pain, decreased range of motion, muscle stiffness, headaches, difficulty swallowing, and vertigo.

Some don't consider whiplash a serious injury since it doesn't involve broken bones or internal bleeding. However, whiplash can cause severe pain and discomfort if left untreated. Even a minor case of whiplash can lead to long-term problems like chronic neck pain or decreased range of motion in your neck.

In addition to whiplash, car accidents can also cause spine misalignment. This can result in pain, stiffness, decreased mobility, and other complications like herniated discs. Chiropractors use various techniques such as spinal adjustments, mobilization, massage therapy, and stretching exercises to realign the spine and reduce symptoms.

Some people feel that surgery is a more effective treatment for spinal injuries than chiropractic care. However, surgery can be invasive and carry risks like infection or nerve damage. Furthermore, it often involves a long recovery period during which patients cannot work or participate in their regular activities.

Whether you've suffered from chronic pain or want to prevent future complications, the good news is that chiropractic care involves gentle manipulation of the spine to restore proper alignment and relieve pressure on nerves. This, in turn helps reduce inflammation, promotes faster healing, and can alleviate these symptoms providing pain relief and promoting healing naturally.


  • A study in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy found that 74% of patients receiving chiropractic treatment reported pain reduction as early as after the second session.
  • According to the National Institute of Neuromuscular Diseases, 94% of whiplash patients improved with chiropractic care.
  • Research published in The Spine Journal indicates chiropractic care can diminish chronic pain by up to 57%, which is particularly beneficial for those recovering from a car crash injury.



Disc Injuries and Fractures

Car accidents can also cause various injuries to the spinal discs. The spinal discs are the cushions between each vertebra that absorb shock and help with movement. Disc injuries can range from mild to severe and cause long-term pain if not treated properly.

A herniated or bulging disc is a common disc injury occurring when the jelly-like substance inside a disc pushes through the outer layer and presses on nerves in the spinal cord. Symptoms may include pain, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, and weakness.

Fractures are another type of injury that can occur during a car accident. A fractured vertebrae can result in back pain, muscle spasms, and a restricted range of motion. While some fractures may heal independently over time, others may require surgery and extensive physical therapy.

It is crucial to be aware of the potential severity of these injuries to understand the importance of seeking appropriate medical treatment. 



Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care Post-Accident

Chiropractic care not only can it alleviate pain and other symptoms, but it can also help prevent future complications. Whether or not you were in a severe or minor accident, seek a consultation with a chiropractor soon after an accident so they can assess potential damage and develop a treatment plan before symptoms worsen.

Chiropractic care post-accident is like wearing sunscreen before going outside on a sunny day – it may not be necessary at the moment, but doing so can prevent long-term harm. Just as applying sunscreen prevents skin damage from UV rays, seeing a chiropractor early on can prevent long-term complications.

One study by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that over 90% of patients who sought chiropractic care for car accident injuries reported significant improvement in symptoms.

Chiropractic adjustments have also been shown to be a safer alternative to prescription pain medication. Painkillers can be addictive and have dangerous side effects, such as drowsiness and impaired judgment. Chiropractic care does not involve using medications, making it a great option for those who want to avoid potential addiction or harmful side effects.



Pain Alleviation and Mobility Restoration

After a car accident, patients often experience pain and limited mobility due to the impact on their spine. Through chiropractic adjustments, patients can experience significant improvements in both their pain levels and range of motion.

Chiropractic manual adjustments can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Inflammation is a common consequence of physical injury, but excessive inflammation can cause discomfort and inhibit the body's healing process. 



Prevention of Future Complications

Chiropractic treatments can align the spine without surgical intervention, reducing the likelihood of future injuries, complications, or the need for surgery by employing techniques such as spinal adjustments and targeted therapy exercises with a limited recovery process.



Techniques Employed in Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments involve various techniques to restore joint mobility and alleviate pain. The chiropractor will first assess the patient's injury to determine the appropriate plan for the patient's specific needs.

One of the most common techniques used in chiropractic care is spinal manipulation, involving manual therapy to improve joint functionality, treat inflammation, and reduce pain. The chiropractor uses their hands or a small instrument to apply controlled force to a joint in a specific direction. They may also use gentle stretching movements to mobilize joints that have become stiff due to an injury.

Another technique chiropractors employ is the flexion-distraction technique, which decompresses the spine and alleviates pressure on herniated discs. It is especially effective for treating lower back injuries. The chiropractor uses an adjusting table that moves in a specific way to manipulate the spine gradually.

In addition, a soft tissue therapy called Active Release Technique (ART) may treat muscle strains caused by car accidents. The procedure involves locating adhesions around muscles, tendons, and ligaments and applying pressure while you move your body part through various ranges of motion.

Chiropractors may also employ McKenzie exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the injured area after an accident. These posture-based exercises empower people to take charge of their treatment plans effectively.

Finally, some practitioners may use electrical stimulation to stimulate nerves around an injury site and promote healing. A small adhesive electrode pad is attached to the skin over the affected area, and a low electrical current is passed through it. This stimulates the nerves surrounding it, promoting circulation and reducing inflammation.

For instance, a patient suffering from a whiplash injury might require spinal manipulation, ART techniques, and McKenzie exercises during treatment. On the other hand, another individual might require more focus on stretching muscle and soft tissues to help address a torn ligament or tendon.

Although each technique is unique, thorough diagnosis and customization of a treatment plan are essential in every approach. A qualified chiropractor will tailor their care plan based on a patient's needs. Employing this approach ensures that each adjustment has a higher chance of alleviating pain while being safe.



What to Anticipate in a Chiropractic Consultation Post-Accident

A consultation with a chiropractor can prevent complications while ensuring proper healing. A knowledgeable chiropractor will alleviate the pain associated with your injury and work with you to create a sustainable wellness program that will help prevent future complications.

During your first consultation with your chiropractor, they will assess your injury's extent, review your medical history, and conduct physical examinations and diagnostics such as X-rays or MRI if necessary. After your initial evaluation of all these factors, the chiropractor will formulate an individualized treatment plan suited to your situation.

Your chiropractor will then begin treatment focusing on improving joint mobility and alleviating pain caused by the trauma resulting from the accident using techniques we discussed earlier. Most people suffering injuries may require several visits to ensure recovery progress.

It is important to note that Chiropractic care works best when paired with other forms of therapy like massage work or acupuncture. Your chiropractor may refer you for these services to another practitioner within their practice or suggest an alternative provider outside their practice.

While your primary care physician may prescribe prescription drugs as a first course of action after accidents, these drugs only mask the symptoms instead of treating the underlying issue. Chiropractic adjustments are a holistic approach to addressing the root cause of orthopedic injuries, providing effective relief without extensive side effects.



In Summary: 

Overall, chiropractic care at Arrowhead Clinic after a car accident effectively treats injuries sustained post-accident and possibly some underlying issues that maybe have been preexisting. Chiropractic treatment is a highly effective option. Arrowhead is a trusted local chiropractor with over 40 years of experience that aims to return you to your daily life faster. 

Schedule your free consultation today at Arrowhead.


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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the common injuries after an auto accident?

The common injuries from an auto accident include whiplash, spinal misalignments, disc injuries, fractures, ligament tears, muscle strains, and nerve pain. 

How effective is chiropractic care after an accident?

It is important after a car accident to have a medical examination after an accident. Your body is in shock, and acute injuries might go unnoticed until they become bigger injuries causing long-term complications if you don't seek proper care right away. Chiropractic adjustments are a great holistic protective measure. 

What techniques do chiropractors use? Upon your initial evaluation, the chiropractor will assess your individual needs and develop a personalized plan. The common techniques used are spinal manipulation, flexion-distraction, soft tissue therapy, also called Active Release Technique (ART), McKenzie exercises, and some. may use electrical stimulation. 
What should I anticipate in a chiropractic consultation after an accident? During your first visit, your chiropractor will examine your injury and review your medical history, along with an overall physical examination, often including X-rays or an MRI if necessary. Then a plan will be formulated to address your specific needs and discussed with you before beginning treatment. 







Dr. Summer Turner

Dr. Turner is Arrowhead Clinic’s Atlanta Chiropractor. She is originally from North Carolina but has traveled all over the country pursuing her career as a Chiropractor by treating people who have been injured in accidents and people who suffer from chronic pain. She has been with Arrowhead for many years, fulfilling her desire to help accident victims and patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions. Dr. Turner is well-versed in chiropractic care with an emphasis on sports-related therapies. She had the opportunity to train under the chiropractor for the Carolina Panthers to complete her Master's in Sports Rehabilitation. She studied under two more chiropractors, which allowed her to sharpen her skills and adjusting techniques. Dr. Turner is certified in several soft tissue techniques, including Active Release Technique (ART) and Fascial Distortion Model (FDM), as well as a movement diagnosis technique called Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). Dr. Turner believes that movement is life and, as such, plays a critical role in overall health. She has always been passionate about helping people improve their quality of life, be it through chiropractic care, nutritional counseling, and/or a variation of physical modalities. She has helped many individuals achieve a healthier life. A recent review left by one of Dr. Turner’s patients stated, “Great customer service from staff. Quick and effective service from the doctor.” Dr. Turner offers free, same-day consultations to anyone in pain. She is available for appointments Monday-Friday from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.