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How a Whiplash Chiropractor Can Help After a Car Crash

How a Whiplash Chiropractor Can Help After a Car Crash

Motor vehicle accidents cause numerous injuries every year. In fact, over two million Americans visit the emergency room due to crash injuries on an annual basis.

Whiplash is a common injury in both high- and low-speed collisions, and it results in various symptoms. If not treated correctly, the underlying injuries can result in chronic pain like neck pain and headaches.

If you have been in an accident, you should see a whiplash chiropractor. At Chiropractic Approach, our chiropractors have extensive training in treating car accident injuries, especially whiplash, and seeking care greatly reduces the chances of complications.

Facts About Whiplash

Facts About Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when there is a force that is strong enough to cause the head to forcefully move forwards and backwards. This results in damage to the soft tissues in the neck, which include the neck muscles, ligaments, and nerves.

There are numerous causes of whiplash, but car accidents are one of the most common ones, especially rear-ended crashes. In fact, 85% of whiplash injuries occur from a rear-ended collision.

Contrary to popular belief, a vehicle does not have to hit the other one with a large amount of force to cause injury to the neck. Cars traveling as slow as 5 mph can cause enough damage to require whiplash treatment.

Anyone can be a victim of whiplash, but there are certain risk factors that increase the chances of developing chronic pain or having worse outcomes:

  • Older age
  • Previous whiplash injury
  • High speed collision
  • Existing neck or back pain at the time of the crash

Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash Symptoms

The force of the crash can result in a myriad of symptoms. Although whiplash directly affects the tissues of the neck and base of the skull, symptoms do not occur just in those areas.

Crash victims may notice the effects of whiplash throughout their body.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Upper back stiffness
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms and hands
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness

Some people may also notice symptoms such as irritability, depression, trouble sleeping, ear ringing, issues with memory, or difficulty concentrating.

Can a Chiropractor Treat Whiplash?

Can a Chiropractor Treat Whiplash

Some people may ignore whiplash symptoms, especially if they are mild. However, untreated whiplash can result in numerous complications. If you are wondering how to treat whiplash, seeking help from a chiropractor is a good idea.

Chiropractic is an area of healthcare that focuses on the body’s natural ability to heal. Unlike some other healthcare fields that just cover up symptoms, chiropractic finds the cause of the problem and treats it so that it does not cause any future issues.

A chiropractor examines the spine and the associated nerves. If a spinal bone is out of place, it puts pressure on nerves, which can cause a variety of symptoms.

A chiropractor adjusts the bone back into its original position, relieving the nerve pressure and restoring function through spinal manipulation. Because whiplash often results in spinal misalignments, chiropractic treatment is one of the ways to realign the areas of concern.

What to Expect at a Chiropractic Appointment

If you have never been to a chiropractor before, you may be wondering what to expect. When you schedule an appointment after an accident, the visit will consist of a variety of things, depending on what the chiropractor finds and what the treatment plan is.

What to Expect at a Chiropractic Appointment

Consultation and History

During the first part of the visit, the chiropractor will sit down with you and ask a lot of questions. These will gather information about:

  • Specific details about the accident
  • Type, location and severity of symptoms before and after the accident
  • Things that make symptoms better or worse
  • Previous chiropractic care
  • Medical history
  • Current medication or supplements you are taking

After the consultation, the chiropractor will determine if you are a good candidate for chiropractic. If so, he or she will next conduct a thorough exam to determine what is causing your symptoms.

Spinal and Neurological Exam

The chiropractor examines your spine via palpation and movement as well as examines the associated muscles for dysfunction such as spasticity. For whiplash, exams may focus on the cervical spine area.

The chiropractor may conduct a series of tests to check the function of individual parts of your nervous system. Other parts of the exam may include reflexes or balance.

Depending on your symptoms and what the chiropractor finds during the initial exam, he or she may take X-rays of your spine. These help to detect problems that the chiropractor cannot see otherwise.

X-rays also show the extent of spinal degeneration, which helps determine how many visits may be necessary to completely restore function.


Based on the exam results, the chiropractor will know exactly how to treat whiplash injuries, including the specific spinal manipulation techniques needed. Most visits will consist of spinal adjustments.

The chiropractor may use manual therapy or an instrument to move the misaligned bones back into place. The location of the adjustments and spinal manipulation techniques will vary for each visit, depending on what the chiropractor finds.

Additional Therapies as Needed

To help with the healing process, the chiropractor may do additional therapies during the visit, not just spinal manipulation. During the initial visits, the chiropractor may apply ice or heat to help calm the muscles before the adjustment.

Other treatment options the chiropractor may choose from include muscle stimulation, trigger point therapy, stabilization exercises, or relaxation techniques. Therapeutic massage may also be necessary to relieve muscle tension.

For complete accident injury treatment, the chiropractor will recommend a series of appointments. The purpose of the initial visits is to treat injured soft tissues and eliminate symptoms as quickly as possible.

The purpose of ongoing visits is to treat the underlying soft tissue injuries and stabilize the spine to prevent future or chronic issues.

Seek Whiplash Treatment Right Away

Seek Whiplash Treatment Right Away

If you are a victim of a car crash, it is important to make an appointment with a whiplash chiropractor as soon as possible. Some whiplash symptoms take a few hours or days to appear, but a chiropractor can detect spinal and muscular issues before you even notice the symptoms.

If you put off treatment, whiplash can be more difficult.

The sooner you seek whiplash treatments, the sooner you will begin to feel better. Our doctors accept no-fault insurance, workers’ compensation, and other health insurance plans.

Contact Chiropractic Approach to schedule your appointment today.

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