4 Ways A Chiropractor Can Help After A Car Accident

Kate Keenan blog

Automobile accidents often cause discomfort in the neck, spine, lower back muscles, and the extremities. Patients who seek chiropractic treatment after being in a car accident may complete a series of treatments, including spinal manipulation, sciatica treatment, neck adjustments, deep massage, and more to restore their health.

The following four treatments are common ways chiropractors help patients recover from post-car crash pain.

1. Spinal Manipulation for Neck and Back Injuries

Often car crashes create persistent, painful neck and back injuries, forcing you to seek chiropractic help. Your chiropractor may start treatment by prescribing conventional methods such as heat and ice therapy, and then move on to spinal manipulation.

Spinal manipulation is considered one of the most effective solutions for lower back pain or neck pain. This technique requires the chiropractor to apply force to the spinal joints and involves manual thrusts on the lower spine to reduce discomfort and hopefully restore the spine’s original structure.

Spinal manipulation treatment is inspired by ancient practices and is common throughout both the Eastern and Western world today. This practice works by relieving pressure on the spinal joints, reducing inflammation, and restoring regular nerve function.

2. Neck Adjustments for Whiplash Injury

Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck. Whiplash is recognized by stiffness of the neck extending to the shoulders and arms or in severe cases, to the upper back and chest. Around 65% of individuals with whiplash start to develop symptoms during the first 48 hours following the injury.

Symptoms also include headaches coming from the base of the skull and overall discomfort. Some patients experience dizziness, nausea, or blurred vision, and have difficulty swallowing due to a whiplash injury, but these are the first symptoms to resolve.

To eliminate stiffness and restore mobility in the neck after a whiplash injury, chiropractors may perform neck adjustments to stimulate movement in the neck. Neck adjustments are designed to increase range of motion in the neck so you may tilt and turn your head painlessly.

On top of these adjustments, your chiropractor may suggest several at-home treatments such as limitation of phone and computer use, or proper ergonomics when using these products, ice therapy, and other simple exercises or stretches to stimulate movement.

3. “Graston Technique” for Pain Elimination in Soft Tissues

Sometimes, car accidents leave leftover scar tissue and damaged soft tissue that can only be broken down during chiropractic treatment. The Graston Technique is a style of chiropractic therapy that aims to break up scar tissue and identify restricted, stiff areas underneath the skin.

This therapy is known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization and is practiced by not only chiropractors but other professionals such as a physical therapist or occupational therapist. The goal of this therapy is to reduce pain in the patient and stimulate movement by:

  • Breaking down leftover scar tissue as a result of trauma to the soft tissues.
  • Encouraging the healing process in the soft tissues.
  • Attempting to rearrange the soft tissues’ structure, by stretching surrounding tissues, tendons, and ligaments.

4. Treating Sciatica Pain

Sciatica is a condition characterized by lower lumbar pain extending to the back of the leg. Often, sciatica shows up in patients who’ve suffered trauma to the pelvis, buttocks, or thighs.

Injury to nearby internal muscles places pressure on the sciatic nerve, sending painful nerve signals through the sciatic nerve pathway.

Pain varies in patients and is exacerbated by sitting, coughing, and sneezing. Sciatica pain usually affects one side of the body; pain symptoms include dull aches to sharp, burning pains. Extreme symptoms can also feel like jolting electric shocks.

Your chiropractor will help induce sciatica pain relief through stretching exercises, massaging the damaged tissues beneath the skin, and massaging of the piriformis muscle, which is a pain center in sciatica patients located in the buttocks.

If you have been injured in a car accident, our dedicated team of Chiropractors at Michigan Chiropractor Specialists can help. If possible, it is best you visit our office within 72 hours of the accident for medical attention.

You may not feel the severity of your injury initially due to the adrenaline rush following the accident. This is temporary, and you may be left with chronic and long-lasting pain once the adrenaline wears off.

Our team can evaluate your condition and determine the extent of your injuries and return you to your best health as soon as possible.

Kate's interest in the medical field began with her mother, who worked as a Special Care Nursery nurse for 50 years. Kate began working in the medical field with a mobile X-ray company, where she continued to foster her interest and learn critical information about a variety of diseases and conditions, along with the processes of diagnosing and treating them. Kate has been writing professionally for 12 years, and she is working on her Masters in English. She loves dogs, good food, and the beach.