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How a Chiropractor Can Assist You After an Accident

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Car accidents are responsible for many of the injuries, symptoms, and conditions that are treatable with the assistance of a chiropractor. Care options include spinal decompression and adjustment, physical therapy, and acupuncture. Car accident care from a full-service chiropractor ultimately helps to reduce your pain and lessen the long-term effects of an injury. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common injuries a chiropractor can help you recover from and take an in-depth look at some of the treatment options available after an accident.

Common car accident injuries

The lingering effects of a car accident injury can have a long-term impact on your overall physical and mental health. In the moment of the impact between vehicles can cause sharp movements in joints and muscles that require medical care. In the moments following the accident, you may not even feel the injury due to an adrenaline rush. If the accident caused severe or life-threatening injuries, you should visit an emergency room first. 

Whiplash is the most common car accident injury that is treatable with chiropractic assistance. Soft tissue damage in and around shoulders and joints is also common. A pinched nerve in and around the neck and back is a frequent result of a car accident that can chiropractor can also help you with. If the injuries resulting from the accident involve broken and dislocated bones or joints, you should reach out for assistance from a medical doctor first. A chiropractor can help you with the recovery process for these injuries, but only after you’ve received formal medical care. 

Chiropractic adjustments

Chiropractic care for your neck, back, and other joints is most commonly referred to as adjustments. This is the most common form of care you’ll receive from a chiropractor, particularly for conditions such as whiplash and acute muscle pain. Your chiropractor manipulates the joints in and around the affected area to reduce pain and prevent further inflammation.  

In many cases, conditions or pain resulting from the accident may not show up for several days. Adjustments are entirely non-surgical and non-invasive. You may need to schedule a few repeat appointments, but you’ll be able to avoid more intensive and expensive medical treatment options. Adjustments improve the strength and mobility of the affected individual while serving as the foundation for other forms of chiropractic care. 

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is a long-term treatment option that is particularly effective for recovering from muscle damage or other mobility issues. It may take several months to complete a full cycle of physical therapy, depending on the severity of the injury. Most physical therapy treatment plans are customized based on the nature of the injury. By the end of a physical therapy treatment programme, you may even feel better than you did before the accident and injury. 


Full-service chiropractors have many additional treatment options beyond adjustments and physical therapy. Acupuncture reduces pain for joints and muscles by interesting small needles in and around the area of the injury. In fact, the practice of acupuncture comes from traditional Chinese medicine and has been common practice for hundreds of years. Contrary to how this treatment option might sound, it is effectively painless. Acupuncture can do significantly more than treat injuries. There are many studies regarding its effectiveness in reducing stress and inflammation. Acupuncture treatment options from a chiropractor can speed up other aspects of your recovery. 

Massage therapy

Massage therapy carries several similar benefits to acupuncture and can be particularly beneficial after a car accident, even when you technically haven’t been injured. Before you begin massage therapy, your chiropractor will assess the extent of your injuries and plan treatment based on where your pain is coming from and which muscles have the most severe tension. Massage therapy can boost your overall health and wellness beyond the injury, which can, in turn, improve your immune system response and speed up recovery times. Patients with anxiety, high blood pressure, or general stress often see a reduction in their symptoms after completing massage therapy treatment from a chiropractor. 

Custom orthotics

Car accident injuries frequently affect the area around the foot and ankle because of the leg’s extension towards the brake and gas pedals. In addition, other muscle or joint injuries can affect your posture and result in pain around the ankle several weeks or even months after the injury. A chiropractor can build customized inserts for your shoes that support injuries affecting this area, whether they’ve resulted from a car accident or not. Patients with spine and neck injuries can also benefit from custom orthotics. While these may not be a default part of your treatment plan when visiting a chiropractor, you may want to ask about their potential to aid your recovery.

Advice for further treatment

While a chiropractor can help you treat a variety of injuries after a car crash, they may not be able to with more severe medical concerns. A chiropractor is most commonly an aid to the recovery process and, unfortunately, can’t administer treatment for everything. An experienced chiropractor can advise you on your options for further treatment and will let you know when you should reach out to a doctor or other medical professional instead. 

Takeaway: how a chiropractor can assist you after an accident

A full-service chiropractor can assist you in recovering from a variety of injuries that can occur in a car accident. Treatment options include spinal decompression and adjustment, physical and massage therapy, and acupuncture. These chiropractic care methods essentially help reduce pain, boost your immune system response, and recover mobility. All chiropractic treatment is non-surgical, and most insurance plans can help cover most of the costs. You might be surprised at how quickly you can find relief after an accident. 

Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health and well-being.

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