At Eastside Ideal Health, we get many questions about how chiropractic care can help after you’re in a car accident. A large part of our practice is post-injury. Whether it’s weight lifting injury, car accidents, and even general aches and pains and sprains from moving around the house, we’re going to talk a bit about car accidents in this article.

Even Minor Car Accidents Cause Injuries

Most car accidents involve colliding with the back of another car or another car colliding with the back of yours. A lot of times, what we commonly will see people for is neck and lower back pain. When you’re in a car accident, and you collide with an object, let’s say five miles or 25 miles an hour, and you hit into a wall with your car or you hit another vehicle, your head and shoulders can kind of violently develop whiplash.

Whiplash is basically when your head snaps forward and backward, which can cause dysfunction in the neck, and in the shoulder musculature in the mid-back. It can even cause problems down into the lower back and the hips.

Sometimes Symptoms Are Delayed

A lot of people post car accident, or post-injury are so fueled by adrenaline and epinephrine. Your fight or flight response kicks in where you’re just all worked up. You may not even realize that you have hurt your neck, your lower back, or your mid-back in this state.

Sometimes we see shoulder problems or wrist problems from jamming into the steering wheel and different things like that. Many times, people will come to us maybe a week, maybe two weeks, maybe four weeks, or even sometimes two or three months after a car accident. They’ll say, “man, I’ve developed these headaches or this back pain or mid back pain. I’ve never had it before. And now I’m feeling all twisted”. It turns out they were in a car accident X amount of days ago or weeks ago. The patient felt great before, but now they’re not feeling correct.

Symptoms Are Not Always Painful

Your body will tell you you are injured with symptoms and pain, general tightness or stiffness, or lack of range of motion where you can’t turn your head as far as you could before the accident. What happens is when you quickly get into an accident, your spine can stretch, and your different bones and muscles ligaments can stretch, causing ligamentous damage. Sometimes muscular strain and even joint dysfunction can happen. You might sprain a little joint in your neck and end up not being able to turn your head, or your movement is limited. So if your accident was severe, it’s essential post-car accident to get checked out at the emergency room.

Sometimes they’ll take x-rays to make sure that nothing is broken or fractured or anything like that. Generally, we tell all of our patients, if you get in an accident, whether a slip, fall, or car accident, to make an appointment so we can check your neck out, your mid-back, and lower back. We want to make sure that things are feeling good and not painful. That means when we press throughout our body, that we don’t have any tight muscles or joints that are inflamed or tender. It’s much easier to fix these things as soon as they happen, rather than waiting six months or a year and developing these postural changes that may have been caused by the car accident a long time ago.

Chiropractic Care Helps The Body Heal

Overall, health improvement post-injury tends to result in an increased range of motion. We can work on different neck and core stability exercises to help improve your posture. We will teach you proper exercises to eliminate your pain and make you feel better rather than worse as the days and the weeks go on. Chiropractic care is an excellent post-auto accident treatment and helps to reduce inflammation, muscle swelling, and damage. We’ll be able to give you tips and exercises to work on so that you can rebound faster.