Do I Need a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

The presence of hazards and reckless drivers increases the likelihood of auto accidents on the road. According to the US General Services Administration Office of Motor Vehicle Management, a car crash happens every five seconds. 

The US has a total of 6,420,000 car accidents in a year. These collisions cost the lives of 115 people daily in the US, accounting for one motor vehicle-related death every 13 minutes. 

Although not all auto accidents result in fatalities, they can cause different bodily injuries. Car accident victims may suffer physical and chronic pain after the crash. But even if there’s no pain or visible injury, seeking prompt medical attention is essential.

A personal injury attorney may recommend you consult a chiropractor after a car accident if it can help with your healing process. You don’t have to take your lawyer’s advice to get chiropractic care. 

Chiropractic care is a drug-free method that eliminates pain in numerous car accident injuries. Evidence suggests that it can help alleviate pain and speed up auto accident recovery time. However, many are uncertain if a personal injury claim includes the costs of chiropractic care.

In any case, a chiropractor can help treat and document your injuries to support a successful claim. 

Key Takeaways
  • Car accidents cause a range of physical injuries. While some are minor and non-incapacitating, others have a long-term impact on one’s quality of life.
  • Chiropractic care is one of the recommended treatments of auto accident injuries.
  • Besides treating the injury, chiropractors can help with your personal injury case. They can provide thorough documentation that can improve your chances of a higher settlement.

Auto Accident Injuries That May Require Chiropractic Treatment

Injured victims can experience multiple problems after a serious car crash or a fender bender. Some only sustain minimal or short-term aches and return to their normal life. Unfortunately, others have to deal with chronic pain and discomfort that may impact their quality of life. 

Many people may suffer soreness immediately following an auto accident. But it’s worth noting that symptoms from some car accident injuries may take several hours or days to manifest. 

Delaying to seek medical treatment can cause long-term health issues. Untreated non-visible injuries can begin producing severe pain as time goes on. To stay ahead of your injuries and prevent any complications, consider consulting a chiropractor immediately.

Chiropractors will examine to determine if chiropractic care is proper for your condition. They may refer you for diagnostic imaging like an x-ray or MRI if necessary. Here’s a look at the most common injuries that may require treatment from a chiropractor. 


Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury experienced by car accident victims. It usually happens when the neck is forcefully jerked forward and back again beyond its normal range of motion.  

The sudden motion in a car crash causes your neck’s tendons, muscles, and ligaments to stretch and tear. The collision can create significant force even at a lower speed, resulting in a whiplash injury.

Whiplash symptoms commonly include headaches, neck pain, and dizziness. An experienced chiropractor can adjust the affected muscles to decrease pain and inflammation in the neck.

Soft tissue injuries

Besides whiplash, car accidents can cause other types of soft tissue injuries. They can occur in almost any part of your body, but the neck, chest, or shoulder are the most at risk. These injuries may also affect the hips and legs. 

The exerted force in a collision can knock victims violently across the car. This can cause partial or complete tears in your tissue fibers. You may experience soreness, swelling, and stiffness when you have a soft tissue injury. 

You can improve circulation and relax tensed-up soft tissues with chiropractic care, giving instant pain relief. 

Neck and back injuries

Any part of the body can sustain injuries during a car crash. But the force impact usually puts the most pressure on the neck and back. This can strain the tendons and muscles, causing minor to severe neck and lower back pain. 

Neck and back pain can take several forms. Depending on the severity and type of injuries, some may experience chronic pain and physical disability. Chiropractic care is an excellent way to manage and alleviate soreness and discomfort.

Arms and leg injuries

The impact of car collisions can also cause arm and leg injuries. Depending on the nature of the crash, your arms and legs may suffer bruises, scrapes, sprains, or broken bones. T-bone and head-on collisions are more likely to result in more severe injuries. 

Victims may suffer complications without prompt treatment, making it more challenging to retain their former mobility. A chiropractor can get a comprehensive picture of your arm and leg pain. They can help correct your body’s alignment, providing pain relief. 

Spinal cord injuries

A car crash can cause sudden trauma to the spine and spinal cord. This can break the vertebrae and dislocate the surrounding sensitive tissues. 

Many car accident victims suffer permanent damage because of spinal cord injuries. They have to live with the long-term effects of a spinal cord injury, such as paralysis, spasms, and numbness. 

But those who see a chiropractor immediately have a higher chance of recovering completely and avoiding permanent damage. Chiropractic treatment helps relieve pressure on the spinal cord and increase blood flow. This, in turn, lessens the pain and speeds up the healing process.

How can a chiropractor help accelerate your car accident recovery?

Chiropractic treatment doesn’t require pain medication or surgeries. Instead, car accident chiropractors use the following methods to accelerate the victim’s healing process and help them recover faster. 

Spinal manipulation 

Most auto accident injuries occur in the neck and spine areas. As a result, many injured crash victims suffer pain or have to deal with nerve issues to varying degrees. 

Chiropractors use spinal manipulation to restore the alignment of the spine and joints to their correct position. During the spinal manipulation, a chiropractor will put pressure on specific regions of the neck or spine using their hands. 

The chiropractic adjustment stretches the damaged tissues of the spinal joint, improving blood flow and promoting faster healing of injuries. 

Manual therapy

Chiropractors also employ massage technique depending on the severity, location, and type of injuries they’re targeting. 

Massaging the injured muscles reduces stiffness around a misalignment. It can loosen muscle knots and spasms in the aftermath of the collision. By increasing circulation, manual therapy accelerates healing in the affected areas.

This can generally help improve the range of motion in restricted muscle areas, allowing car accident victims to resume daily activities. 

Corrective exercises

After giving an injury sufficient time to heal, chiropractors will use corrective exercises with physical therapy to strengthen muscles. The treatment targets restoring the car accident victim’s ability to move without pain.

Chiropractors usually develop a tailored corrective exercise plan according to your injury, discomfort level, and body structure. 

Electrical stimulation

Chiropractors also use electrical stimulation to revive injured muscles. They will attach the pads or electrodes to the patient’s skin using an electronic device. The targeted muscle group contracts in response to the electrical impulses. 

Electrical stimulation releases tension by repetitively contracting weakened muscles, alleviating pain in the arm, leg, back, and neck. 

When should car accident victims seek chiropractic care? 

Getting the appropriate medical attention is the first thing victims should do after being involved in a car accident. Those severely injured may be transported to the emergency room for the necessary treatment. 

But even if there are no visible injuries, you should seek medical help. After performing a complete bodily assessment, your primary care physician can inform you of the treatment plan. They may also advise you if you need chiropractic care.

It’s often advisable to visit a chiropractor within 72 hours of the accident. This will help support your personal injury claim and ensure your injuries don’t worsen. Below are some warning signs that you need a chiropractor after a car crash: 

  • You have a limited range of motion. 
  • You feel numbness or tingling within a few days. 
  • You’re suffering from nerve pain in the arms or legs.
  • You’ve been experiencing chronic headaches, backaches, or joint issues.

What’s the role of a chiropractor in your personal injury claim?

A chiropractor may play a critical role in your recovery and your personal injury claim. They often work with personal injury attorneys to help car accidents build a strong case.

We’ve highlighted a few things a car accident chiropractor can do to get the compensation you need to recover from their injuries. 

Conduct detailed intakes and exams

A comprehensive chiropractic exam is essential when seeking financial compensation for auto accident injuries. The insurance company doesn’t pay a claim because of speculation or opinions. 

But with a detailed assessment from a chiropractor, you can show the extent of your injuries and that you need medical care. 

Document the patient’s injuries

There needs to be more than an official diagnosis of your injuries. A thorough documentation of your injuries is also necessary to receive compensation for your medical costs. 

Chiropractors can give detailed charts, treatment recommendations, and progress evaluations. Your personal injury attorney or car accident lawyer can use them as supplemental evidence for your claim. This can boost your chances of getting a fair settlement from the insurance company. 

Provides quality treatment

Getting quality treatment is vital for your car accident recovery. But it’s also beneficial for your case. Insurance companies can argue that your treatment isn’t related to your injuries. 

If you did not seek medical attention immediately, the insurance adjusters might claim that the delay worsened your injuries. As a result, they may not pay your medical bills. A chiropractor can help get your treatment plan underway. This will prove that you’re taking steps to have your injuries treated.

Gives depositions and testifies at trial when necessary

A chiropractor can also serve as an expert or witness. Suppose your case needs to go to court. In that case, they can give depositions and testify at trial on your behalf regarding your physical condition. With actual x-rays and medical reports, chiropractors can provide detailed and documented testimony for your case.

Did you know?

Chiropractors treat more than 35 million patients in the US annually and perform roughly one million chiropractic adjustments daily.

Get Legal Help for Your Car Accident Injuries

Your health should be your priority after being involved in a car crash. Chiropractic care can help with pain management and recovery from auto accident injuries. 

Once you get the medical attention you need, the next step is to hire a personal injury lawyer. They can protect your rights and best interests after a car accident. 

Finding a trustworthy lawyer doesn’t have to be complicated. The Personal Injury Center has the resources to help make your search easier. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can connect you with experienced attorneys in your area. 

Protect your legal rights after an auto accident. Reach out to The Personal Injury Center now to find competent legal assistance.

FAQs on Should I See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

A medical doctor is a healthcare professional trained and licensed to practice medicine and provide medical care. This typically includes diagnosing and treating illnesses, prescribing medication, and performing medical procedures. Medical doctors may specialize in a specific area of medicine, such as pediatrics, surgery, or psychiatry.

A chiropractor is a healthcare professional trained and licensed to diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders. They specialize in treatment through manual adjustment and manipulation of the spine.

Chiropractors often focus on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. They may also provide advice on lifestyle and nutritional changes that can help improve health. They do not prescribe medication.

The frequency of your visits to a chiropractor depends on the severity and type of your injuries. Some may only need one or two sessions, while others require weeks or months of chiropractic treatment.

Chiropractor fees vary depending on several factors, including the location, the chiropractor's experience, qualifications, and the type of treatment. A typical chiropractic visit can range from $30 to $200, depending on the location and the practitioner.

If a patient has insurance coverage, it can also affect the cost. Some insurance plans may cover chiropractic care, but the coverage can vary widely. Some may require a referral from a primary care physician. Patients should check with their insurance provider to understand their coverage and any out-of-pocket costs that may apply.

Additionally, some chiropractors may offer a sliding scale fee or a package deal for a certain number of visits. Some may also provide a free consultation.