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5 Common Injuries from a Car Accident

Injuries resulting from a car accident are common even in the smallest of fender-benders. In the case of minor trauma, the resulting pain may not be felt right away. As the adrenaline surges at the time of the accident, the pain receptors sending signals to the brain, are overridden and you feel fine or maybe even good. Later, often as long as 24 hours later, the pain from injury may be felt.

Chiropractic treatment can help improve pain relating to strain on your muscles, ligaments and tendons, and/or joints. 

Here are 5 common injuries from a car accident:



Whiplash occurs when the head forces forward and then immediately snaps backward. It is not life-threatening, and symptoms should subside after 24 – 48 hours.

Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Headache
  • Shoulder pain or stiffness
  • Jaw pain
  • Back pain

Soft Tissue Injury

Soft tissue injuries can happen anywhere on the body. Because limbs tend to absorb the impact, bruising or tearing of the ligaments supporting those tissues can occur. As soft tissue and ligaments heal, they create scar tissue, which can cause more problems in the large muscle groups later down the line.

Types of Soft Tissue Injuries:

  • Strains – A stretching and tearing of a ligament. 
  • Contusions or bruising – Pooling of blood under the skin from a hit to the muscle and connective tissue.

Back Injury

A number of movements in a car accident can cause back injuries of varying degrees. The back takes the blunt trauma in a car accident making it the most vulnerable part of our body. Nerves can pinch from the spine being out of alignment. Discs can bulge from the force of vertebrae that may shift. In more severe cases, the vertebrae can fracture leading to other injuries to the surrounding area.

Symptoms of back injuries:

  • Pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Inability to stand or walk
  • Loss of ability to control the bladder or bowels

Cuts and Scrapes

Glass can break. Metal can shred. Items inside the car can fly around. No one can predict what will happen in a car accident. Coming into contact with anything during the accident can cause cuts and scrapes. You should treat any kind of trauma to the skin accordingly.

Emotional Distress

After the initial rush of adrenaline wears off, you may be left with feelings of sadness or despair. No matter the reason, it is a natural part of the healing process. Look for ways you can express your thoughts and feelings in a safe way to help guide you through this time.

After a car accident, it is important to have a medical professional check you over to rule out any underlying trauma needing a specific course of treatment.

The body best heals itself. One of the ways you can be sure you are healing properly is by having a treatment plan to follow with a chiropractor. A chiropractor knows how to get the spine into alignment, which will promote blood flow to heal your tissues. Through a course of specific treatment plans for your needs, the chiropractor is able to help strengthen muscles and ligaments, use various methods of physical therapies, and teach you exercises you can do on your own. The care and treatment from a chiropractor after a car accident can speed up recovery as well as avoid future complications such as chronic pain or surgery.

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