Many accident victims consult chiropractors (DCs) because chiropractors treat a broad range of conditions and injuries that are common in motor vehicle accidents. Unlike other healthcare professionals who prescribe painkillers to deal with car accident injuries, a DC can use a variety of chiropractic methods to correct spinal misalignments to promote natural healing without the use of drugs or invasive treatments.

Common Traffic Accident Injuries Treated with Chiropractic Care

Three of the common auto accident injuries that chiropractors treat without surgery or drugs include:

Whiplash and Other Neck Injuries

Whiplash is a common injury in traffic accidents, especially rear-end collisions and head-on crashes. When a person’s neck is whipped backward and forward in a violent manner, as in a car crash, it can cause damage to the soft tissues (ligaments and muscles) of the neck. When the ligaments and muscles extend beyond the normal range of motion, small tears can develop.

In some cases, an accident victim may not realize he or she has whiplash for several days or weeks when the symptoms persist or become worse. Symptoms of whiplash include[i]:

  • Neck pain, especially when turning the head to look over a shoulder
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Shoulder pain
  • Dizziness
  • Arm pain
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Stiff neck
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck, shoulders, or upper arms

If whiplash is not treated correctly, the injury may continue to cause severe pain and limit the range of motion for years. Sadly, some physicians do not treat cases of whiplash seriously enough. They prescribe pain medications and rest. As the injury heals, scarring develops causing limited range of motion if the spine is not aligned before the scar tissue develops.

Chiropractic care helps relieve pain, restore mobility, and allows long-term healing without drugs. DCs may use a combination of chiropractic methods to treat whiplash, including spinal adjustments, rehabilitative exercises, and electric muscle stimulation. Because chiropractors have extensive experience treating soft tissue injuries and dealing with injuries that other doctors simply “medicate” instead of treating, a chiropractor can be the one health care professional who listens to your complaints and takes your symptoms seriously.

Back Injuries

Back injuries are also common in car accidents, especially low back injuries. Many accident victims suffer back pain from sprained backs, herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, or broken vertebrae. The impact of a vehicle crash can cause severe damage to the soft tissues of the spine. The trauma to the soft tissues causes pain, limited mobility, tension, and irritation.

Herniated discs are a common back injury that chiropractors treat after car accidents. The herniated disc causes pressure on the spinal cord nerves which can cause weakness, pain, or numbness. A DC uses flexion-distraction, manual therapy, spinal manipulation, pelvic blocking, therapeutic exercises, and other chiropractic methods to treat herniated discs.

Back pain can be debilitating. The pain can prevent you from working or enjoying normal daily activities. It is very important to see a medical professional if you experience any symptoms of spinal cord injuries or back injuries after an accident. Symptoms of spinal cord injuries and back injuries include[ii]:

  • Pain in the back or pressure in the head, back, or neck
  • Difficulty with walking or balance
  • Paralysis in any body part
  • Lack of coordination or weakness
  • Tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in toes, feet, fingers, or hands
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Twisted or oddly positioned back or neck

A back injury or spinal cord injury may not always be noticed right away after a motor vehicle accident. However, a delay in treatment could cause additional injuries and adverse conditions. It is best to see a healthcare professional after any car accident for diagnostic tests and evaluation.

Pinched Nerves

Pinched nerves usually occur in the spine after a car accident, but you can experience a pinched nerve anywhere throughout your body. When a nerve is pinched, there is increased pressure on that nerve causing pain, numbness, and tingling. Pinched nerves can develop in conjunction with whiplash and other spinal cord injuries, including herniated discs.

Chiropractors treat pinched nerves in several ways, including manual spinal adjustments. Through manual adjustments, the never endings relax and can return to the correct position to alleviate pain and other symptoms.

Symptoms of pinched nerves include[iii]:

  • Tingling or “pins and needles” sensations
  • Decreased sensation or numbness in the area supplied by the nerve
  • Muscle weakness
  • Aching, sharp, or burning pain that can radiate outward from the area
  • Feeling like your foot or hand has “fallen asleep”

Many doctors prescribe rest and painkillers for pinched nerves. However, if the source of the problem is not treated, a pinched nerve can cause long-term health problems. Chiropractors do not merely treat the symptoms, they address the cause of the symptoms to provide overall healing and improved health.

Other Common Injuries Chiropractors Treat After a Car Accident

In addition to the above injuries, there are several other soft tissue injuries that chiropractors treat after a motor vehicle accident including:

  • Coccydynia
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disorder
  • Cerviogenic headache
  • Subluxation
  • Spinal osteoarthritis
  • Tendonitis

The above list is not an exhaustive list of injuries from car accidents that chiropractic care may treat. A DC will perform several tests and a full examination to determine the correct diagnosis and treatment plan for your car accident injuries.

If you have been injured, The Pinder Plotkin Legal Team can help you recover compensation for your injuries, including compensation for physical therapy, surgery, and chiropractic care. If you suffer a personal injury or are involved in a work-related accident, and Pinder Plotkin agrees to take your case, you do not pay a dime unless there is a recovery by settlement or judgment.  Please call us today at (410) 525-5337 or online.


[i] Mayo Clinic (

[ii] Mayo Clinic (

[iii] Mayo Clinic (


The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon. Contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a FREE consultation.

More Legal Blogs

Subscribe To Our Newsletter