Is Seeing a Chiropractor Good After a Car Accident?


Being in a car accident can cause more than just surface injuries. The force of impact strains muscles, damages connective tissue, and jars vertebrae out of place. Even without broken bones, car crash injuries often result in ongoing back and neck pain, stiffness, headaches, and other issues.

That's why visiting a chiropractor soon after a collision is highly recommended. Chiropractic care realigns the spine, reduces soft tissue inflammation, and helps injured areas heal properly.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of seeing a chiropractor after a car accident, when to start treatment, how chiropractic helps you recover, and tips for finding the right chiropractor.

Why Chiropractic Care is Recommended After Auto Accidents

Chiropractic complements other medical treatment to address accident injuries in these key ways:

  • Restores spinal alignment - Crash forces can shift vertebrae causing pinched nerves, radiating pain, and limited mobility. Chiropractic adjustments realign the spine.
  • Relieves muscle tension - Whiplash and bracing actions produce muscle tightness in the neck, back and shoulders. Chiropractic releases spasms and knots.
  • Reduces inflammation - Chiropractic manipulation and massage decrease swelling in strained soft tissues.
  • Improves range of motion - Gentle stretching and mobilization treatments increase flexibility and mobility.
  • Enhances injury recovery - Boosted blood circulation accelerates the body's natural healing capabilities.
  • Provides drug-free pain relief - Alternative to pain medications with potential side effects and addiction risks.
  • Prevents chronic issues - Early chiropractic intervention can help avoid long-lasting pain and disabilities.

These benefits make chiropractic a smart addition to your accident recovery plan.

When to Start Chiropractic Care After an Auto Collision

Seeing a chiropractor right away after a crash promotes the fastest healing. The first 2 weeks are most critical. Benefits of early chiropractic include:

  • Quickly restoring motion to injured joints before they stiffen up
  • Reducing inflammatory chemical buildup for less swelling and discomfort
  • Releasing injured muscles before spasms worsen
  • Preventing compensatory movements that lead to pain syndromes
  • Maximizing the body's natural healing momentum
  • Shortening overall recovery time

Of course, it's important to rule out any life-threatening injuries first and undergo needed emergency medical care. However, once cleared, starting chiropractic within days after an accident provides major advantages.

Most chiropractors offer same-day appointments for crash victims. Don't delay getting on the schedule.

How Chiropractic Treatments Help You Recover from Auto Injuries

Specific hands-on chiropractic techniques relieve car accident pain and address underlying dysfunction:

  • Spinal manipulation – Gentle adjustments realign vertebrae and joints to restore mobility, decrease nerve irritation, and loosen muscles.
  • Myofascial release – Soft tissue mobilization techniques release spasms and scar tissue adhesions from whiplash.
  • Trigger point therapy – Applies concentrated pressure to deactivate muscular trigger points.
  • Active release techniques – Special stretches and motions break up adhesions.
  • Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization – Specialized tools manipulate injured muscles and connective tissues.
  • Interferential current therapy – Electrical stimulation decreases nerve pain and inflammation.
  • Therapeutic exercises/stretches – Improve strength, mobility and flexibility of the spine and extremities.

A chiropractor will tailor a multi-pronged treatment plan using combinations of these techniques based on your unique injury picture.

Chiropractic Care for Common Car Accident Injuries

No two collisions result in the exact same injuries. But some of the more common car accident injuries chiropractors successfully treat include:

  • Whiplash – Chiropractic adjustments restore neck mobility and release spasms. Exercises strengthen the stabilizing muscles.
  • Herniated discs – Spinal manipulation decompresses affected discs. Manual traction adds localized stretching.
  • Radiating pain/numbness – Chiropractic re-establishes motion patterns to take pressure off compressed nerves.
  • Headaches – Neck adjustments and trigger point therapy reduce cervicogenic (neck-related) headaches.
  • Low back pain – Flexion-distraction technique gently mobilizes the lumbar discs and joints.
  • Shoulder pain – Adjustments combined with active release therapy relax injured shoulder muscles.
  • TMJ dysfunction – Manual jaw alignment techniques restore motion and reduce tension.

The holistic approach of chiropractic care makes it effective for resolving a wide array of collision injuries, large and small.

Chiropractic Care Combined with Other Therapies

While extremely beneficial on its own, chiropractic works best alongside other therapies for a comprehensive recovery plan. Typical combinations include:

  • Massage therapy – Relieves muscle tightness and spasms missed by chiropractic adjustment.
  • Physical therapy – Strengthens muscles supporting the spine.
  • Pain management – Provides temporary relief until natural healing occurs.
  • Surgery – Chiropractic both before and after surgical interventions.
  • Psychological counseling – Helps overcome accident-related trauma and anxiety.
  • Acupuncture – Alternative pain and inflammation reduction.
  • Yoga/pilates – Gentle stretching and core strengthening.

A blended treatment approach allows car accident victims to recover faster and more completely.

Tips for Finding the Best Chiropractor After a Car Crash

Not all chiropractors have specialized training in auto injury rehabilitation. Look for these traits:

  • Extensive advanced education in musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation.
  • Experience treating various accident injuries.
  • Uses latest diagnostic imaging and muscle testing technology.
  • Offers flexible scheduling for multi-visit weeks.
  • Will communicate closely with your other healthcare providers.
  • Trained in soft tissue mobilization techniques.
  • Prioritizes functional, patient-centered care.
  • Warm, compassionate manner – injuries can be emotionally difficult.
  • Offers multi-specialty services like massage and physical therapy.

The right chiropractor will make car accident recovery smooth from diagnosis through rehabilitation.

Don't Delay Chiropractic After Your Accident

Crash-related injuries rarely fully resolve on their own. Lingering pain, reduced mobility, headaches and ongoing numbness/tingling are signals it's time to seek chiropractic care.

With their whole-body approach focused on injury rehabilitation, chiropractors help auto accident victims:

  • Restore proper spinal alignment
  • Relax spasmed muscles
  • Increase flexibility
  • Decompress irritated nerves
  • Regain pain-free range of motion

Don't wait to start recovery – early chiropractic intervention leads to the best outcomes long-term.

Dr. Wood at Uptown Denver Chiropractor has helped hundreds rebuild their health after car accidents. His expertise spans the most common injuries from whiplash to disc issues. Dr. Wood incorporates massage, physical therapy, laser therapy, supplements, and education to help patients quickly bounce back.

If you were injured in an auto collision, call Dr. Wood today to schedule an evaluation. The sooner you start chiropractic care, the faster you'll be on the road to feeling like yourself again. 

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