Should I See a Chiropractor After an Accident?

auto accident injury

Should I see a chiropractor after an accident?

Getting into a car accident means going to an emergency room, and medical bills are not inexpensive at all. It’s not just your car that got damaged from the collision but also your health.

One of the most important things to do after a car crash is to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you think you weren’t hurt. Some injuries may not look that bad after an accident, but your condition might worsen hours or days later.

Visiting a chiropractor after receiving an emergency doctor’s diagnosis can greatly help your body recover from the trauma. Doing this is a critical step to make sure you don’t have to deal with the long-term consequences of the accident.

If you’re wondering about whether you should see a chiropractor after an accident or not, you landed on the right page. Read on to find out more about the role of chiropractors in helping you heal your auto accident injuries.

What Is Chiropractic Care?


spinal misalignment


Chiropractic care is a holistic form of helping your body heal without medication or invasive procedures.

Chiropractors use hands-on body manipulation (adjustment) to restore the joints’ mobility, which has been restricted by injured tissues caused by any traumatic event.

Medical experts follow the proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal system that enables the body to self-heal without surgery or medication.

Although chiropractic treatments focus more on problem-specific joints, the whole procedure’s priority is to restore your overall body health.

Should I See a Chiropractor After an Accident?

After receiving emergency medical care for an accident, you may consult with a chiropractor as soon as you receive your diagnosis.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of whiplash from a car accident, your physician will likely recommend you visit a chiropractor, too.

Ideally, car accident victims are advised to see a chiropractor within 72 hours of the accident.

Don’t delay it longer than that period. Otherwise, your injuries could worsen.

You don’t need to worry about accident settlements since most insurance policies cover chiropractic care after a car accident.

The Role Of Chiropractors After an Accident


Should I See A Chiropractor After an Accident


Chiropractors can help personal accident victims recover from whiplash-related injuries or even bruises and contusions.

Not seeking help from any medical professional or a chiropractor right after the accident can worsen the long-term effects of whiplash and any spinal misalignments.

Car accident injuries never stay as they are and often develop into worse health conditions. Some people even get partial or permanent paralysis due to spinal cord injuries, so seeking help from an expert is never a bad idea.


Whiplash (also known as a cervical acceleration-deceleration syndrome or CADS) is among the most common conditions associated with car accident victims. It is a condition wherein the force of a car accident causes the head and neck to briskly move back and forth like a whip.

This will then lead to spine, disk, muscle, nerve, and soft tissue injuries


If you’ve been diagnosed with whiplash syndrome by your physician after a car accident, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Stiff neck
  • Neck pain that may worsen with every movement
  • Loss of mobility in the neck and back
  • Headaches
  • Arm, shoulder, or back pain or tenderness
  • Tingling or numbness in your arms
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Tinnitus
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Irritability

It’s best to see a chiropractor specializing in car accident injuries within 72 hours after the event. Otherwise, your pain may continue to worsen.

Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

Although chiropractors do not necessarily heal injuries, they can personalize a chiropractic plan to help you recover from car accident injuries non-invasively.

The most common chiropractic method for joint dysfunctions due to whiplash is spinal manipulation (chiropractic adjustment).

Chiropractors will gently move (like a short thrust) the problematic joints in the direction in which they are restricted.

In some cases, chiropractors use a slow mobilization movement instead of a thrust.

Aside from spinal manipulation, a chiropractor can also utilize massage, ultrasound therapy, muscle stimulation, and other holistic techniques for your whiplash and other injuries.

The length of the chiropractic treatment you go through depends on the condition of each person. This procedure is personalized, so different approaches may be involved during each session.

Your chiropractor may also refer you to another healthcare professional if deemed necessary.

Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor After a Car Accident



1. Minimal medications

If you’re staying away from taking too much medication, a chiropractor can help you get the relief you need by:

  • Identifying the cause of injuries
  • Restoring your body health without the need for drug prescriptions.

2. Reduce Inflammation

Car accident victims are always prone to inflammation. This is due to the force from the crash that causes microtears within your muscles and ligaments.

Even x-rays can’t scan these microtears. Fortunately, chiropractors know how to manipulate the spine properly.

Their techniques can help your body release IL-6, an anti-inflammatory substance that reduces and heals internal swelling and pain in cases of acute inflammation.

3. Restores Mobility

One of the main symptoms of whiplash is the loss of mobility in the neck and back after a car accident. This means that it’ll be difficult for you to move around normally.

Chiropractic adjustments can help your body move faster while it reduces any inflammation and pain.

4. Reduces Scar Tissue

Muscle and soft tissue injuries after an auto accident can cause scar tissue. Scar tissue is the collection of collagen and cells that covers the site of your body’s injuries.

Scar tissue can cause stiffness and loss of mobility. Chiropractors can distinguish these scarred and damaged areas and adjust them accordingly.

5. Non-Invasive Procedure

Surgical treatments are effective, but they always come with risks and possible side effects.

Natural non-invasive methods, such as chiropractic treatments, can take care of your body’s restoration without you going under the knife, preventing surgical intervention.

6. Helps Victims File a Car Accident Claim

Victims of a car accident can always sue a negligent driver who caused the driver to receive compensation for what happened. Victims need to call a personal injury attorney to handle the insurance company and take care of the case.

Regardless of that, the compensation the victim gets is meant to cover any primary care physician or chiropractic treatment they get after the accident. These treatments are what doctors say can be evidence for the case, so it’s essential to seek medical attention right after the accident. Doing that also helps you detect whiplash injuries you may have not noticed.

7. Prevents Future Injuries from Happening

One of the most dangerous parts of car accidents is you can develop dangerous injuries after a time. This is because some people avoid getting medical attention and let small physical issues turn into severe problems.

Mild back or neck pain can develop into a whiplash injury, and even victims of minor car accidents can suffer from this matter. Therefore, the best thing to do is to get a physical examination after the car crash to prevent any future problems from happening.

As we mentioned before, chiropractors know how to correctly handle the patient’s spine and can notice problems x-rays often miss.


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Dr. Hawker

Dr Carmen grew up in a small town in Mpumalanga and moved to sunny Durban when she was 11 years old. She completed school and then went onto study, where she completed her Master’s in Chiropractic, at the Durban University of Technology. 

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