AutoAccidents and Recovery

Crash, bang, boom…

It sounds all too familiar.  People are involved in all types of accidents, from minor fender benders to major collisions resulting in severe spinal whiplash injuries.  In my 25 years of experience with auto accident victims, I’ve found that whether you were involved in an accident at 10 mph or 65 mph you can still have damage to your spine. Today’s car bodies are made out of plastics and aluminum, not steel like the old days.  All of the force from the 2000-pound car that just hit you will not only damage your car but can damage your spine, too. Ouch!  The US Department of Transportation estimates that a typical driver will be in a collision of some type an average of once every 6 years. 25% of car accidents are due to talking on a mobile phone at the wheel of the car. A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 28% of occupants in a Motor vehicle Accident sustain mild to moderate injuries while 6% sustain severe to fatal injuries.  Speed is not the main factor in the extent of the injuries, speeds of as little as 5mph have been documented to result in whiplash. From the Journal of Biomechanics, women are twice more likely to be injured in a auto accident than men.

Why is Chiropractic care important for the relief of auto accidents?

Whiplash is a result of hyperextension/hyperflexion of the neck, and is the most common injury following motor vehicle accidents. Often most symptoms of whiplash do not appear until a week or even a month after an accident. Research has shown that whiplash symptoms last more than 6 months in 75% of patients.  In my experience the major causes of severe injuries are: rear end collisions, head turned to the left or right at the moment of impact, tightening up before the collision or pre-existing arthritis in the spine (this degeneration makes a spine weak and unstable). Neck pain is the single most common complaint in whiplash trauma, being reported by over 90% of patients.

Before we understand the connection between car accidents and injuries, we must first understand what coordinates every function within the body. The Spine is composed of 24 movable vertebra that protect the nervous system. The nervous system is the master controller of the body, controlling all glands, organs and functions. When you are involved in an auto accident and your spine is knocked out of alignment this is called a subluxation.  This misalignment decreases the function of the nervous system, causing pain, reduced movement of the joints, muscle stiffness and decreasing health.  Dr. Sharpless, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Colorado stated that only takes the pressure equal to the weight of a dime to decrease the nerve function by over 60%. When the spine is out of alignment this tiny dysfunction reduces motion, irritates nerves and decreases  the function of the nerve. The publication Wound Healing: Alternatives in Management showed that within a two-week period, the body will form permanent scar tissue in the injured area. This scar tissue is formed as a result of muscle spasms, poor flexibility of the bones, poor blood supply in the joints and nerve interference. In adult X-rays years after an accident Holm, in The Cervical Spine, Lippincott, 1989, found that patients will have permanent arthritis and degeneration if the misalignment is not corrected immediately. This is very similar to hitting a pothole with your car and knocking your tire out of alignment. Then, driving for thousands of miles and letting the tire wear unevenly.

What are the benefits for Chiropractic care for healing and relief of pain from auto accidents?

The fastest way to eliminate pain and prevent chronic problems is to seek treatment right away. The longer you wait, the worse your condition may become and the harder it may be to eliminate the symptoms. Some auto accident victims report an 80 percent reduction in pain after just a few weeks of chiropractic care. According to the Journal of Orthopedic Medicine, chiropractic treatment benefited 26 of 28 patients (93%) suffering from chronic whiplash syndrome. In the whiplash overview it is stated that the controlled movements of a chiropractic adjustment allow the injured tissue to heal better and quicker. Also, these movements improve the fluid exchanges of the disc and synovial fluid, which reduce pain and joint degeneration. According to The Physician and Sports Medicine, the superiority of early controlled adjustments/movements is especially apparent in terms of producing quicker recovery and return to full activity, without jeopardizing the long-term rehabilitative outcome.

Contact Us

chiropractic spine


Learn how we can help with your pain