Why You Should Receive Chiropractic Care After an Auto Accident

A woman experiencing neck pain after a car accident

Receiving Chiropractic Care After Suffering Auto Injuries

Even seemingly minor motor vehicle accidents can cause whiplash, back pain, and other ailments. Visiting your chiropractor as soon as possible after an accident will help ease your pain and prevent long-term complications.

Chiropractic Treatment Eases Whiplash Pain

Whiplash is a common injury after an accident. In fact, the American Chiropractic Association reports that approximately two-thirds of people involved in motor vehicle accidents develop whiplash symptoms. The injury occurs when your neck "whips" back and forth suddenly. The movements strain or damage muscles, ligaments, discs, and may force the vertebrae in your neck out of alignment.

Although you may feel fine immediately after the accident, your neck might begin to hurt hours or days later if you have whiplash. Chiropractic treatment relieves your neck pain naturally, realigns your spine, and improves movement in your neck. Treatments also improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and speed up healing time.

Back and Body Pain and Muscle Spasms Also Improve After Treatment

Your chiropractor uses a variety of therapeutic techniques to treat the aches and pains that can occur all over the body following a motor vehicle accident. Massage eases spasms, improves range of motion, and reduces pain by triggering the releases of endorphins, natural chemicals produced by your body to reduce pain.

If your back is sore and stiff, spinal manipulation, in addition to massage and other therapies may be part of your treatment plan. The hands-on treatment uses quick thrusts to realign the vertebrae in your spine. Misaligned vertebrae can cause muscle tension and increase pain if muscles or bones press on nerves. Although a misalignment may actually occur in your neck or back, you may feel pain that extends to your arms or legs if a nerve is involved.

Chiropractic Treatment Helps You Avoid Stiffness Due to Scar Tissue

Depending on its location, scar tissue can prevent joints, muscles, and tissues from moving freely. Decreased range of motion, stiffness, and pain can occur due to the buildup of scar tissue. Luckily, you can avoid or reduce these issues simply by visiting your chiropractor soon after your accident.

Massage, instrument-assisted soft tissue manipulation, and other therapies break down and stretch scar tissue, restoring your flexibility and range of motion. In addition, your chiropractor may also recommend exercises that will strengthen your muscles, decrease inflammation, and improve your range of motion.

Treatment can be helpful even if it's been months or years since your accident. In a case study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, a 61-year-old woman sought treatment for neck and back pain three years after an accident. After six months of spinal manipulation treatment, she reported improvements in pain and quality of life and was able to stop taking opioid medication.

Treatment Reduces or Eliminates the Need for Over-the-Counter or Prescription Pain Relievers

Medications temporarily ease pain after an accident, but the drugs can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects. Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, upset stomach, and abdominal pain can occur when taking pain medication. In some cases, even short-term use of opioid pain medication can cause addiction.

Over-the-counter pain medications aren't necessarily any safer than prescription drugs. In fact, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can cause liver or kidney damage if you take high doses of these medications or take them for a long period of time.

Chiropractic treatment offers a natural pain relief method that can help you avoid these side effects. As your treatment progresses, you may be able to stop taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs completely or reduce the amount of the medication you need to take.

Chiropractic Care Helps You Avoid Lifelong Pain

Treating injuries promptly with chiropractic care prevents motor vehicle accident injuries from becoming long-term problems. You may be more likely to develop chronic pain, arthritis, migraines, headaches, and other symptoms that may make getting through the day difficult if you don't seek treatment soon after your accident. Chiropractic care may even help you avoid surgery.

Have you recently been in a motor vehicle accident? Chiropractic treatment can ease your pain and help you recover more quickly. Contact our office to schedule your first appointment.

Sources:

American Chiropractic Association: Whiplash: More than Standard Neck Pain, 3/15

CDC: Motor Vehicle Injury, 10/4/19

Journal of Chiropractic Medicine: Chiropractic Management of a Patient With Chronic Pain in a Federally Qualified Health Center: A Case Report, 6/18

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