Recovery & Chiropractic: What to Expect After an Auto Accident

Recovery & Chiropractic: What to Expect After an Auto Accident
An auto accident can be an extremely traumatizing experience. In addition to the mental and emotional stress that unfolds after an accident, it’s common for the body to be physically injured, as well.

Even seemingly small accidents can produce long-term ripple effects on your physical health. Put simply, the impact that accompanies a car accident is not natural to the human body, and as a result, auto accidents can create significant imbalance in the body.

Fortunately, chiropractic care can serve as a wonderful rebalancing therapy after the trauma of a car accident. Chiropractic care uniquely targets the bones and joints of the body (as well as the nervous and muscular systems), all of which are targeted by the occurrence of an accident.

Depending on the type of impact you experienced during an auto accident, you may be suffering a variety of different injuries, or you may simply want to take every precaution possible to restore your body to optimal function.

Here are some of the different types of injuries that may occur after a car accident, as well as how chiropractic care can help to support your recovery.


A common injury that occurs as the result of impact during an auto accident is whiplash.

Whiplash is the sudden jolting of the head and neck from one direction to another. This can result in sudden muscle damage and strain (spasms, tears, inflammation, and knots) as well as misalignment in the joints, tendons, and ligaments of the neck.

When whiplash occurs, the nerves in the surrounding area are also subjected to damage. This can be the result of bruising, compression and constriction, and in rare cases, severing of the nerves.

Chiropractic care is an extremely effective method of resolving whiplash damage in the neck and cervical spine. Chiropractic care works on the neuromusculoskeletal system, which addresses each of the physical layers affected by whiplash.


Similarly to whiplash, misalignment can occur at any part of the spine as the result of impact from a car accident. The force of impact can create subluxations (misalignment) in the joints along any part of the spine.

Fortunately, chiropractic specializes in helping to correct the misalignment of bones and joints, making chiropractic care an excellent choice if you suspect that you’re experiencing accident-related misalignment.

Muscle Sprain

Muscle sprain is a common injury in nearly all auto accidents. Often, in the moments of an accident or injury, the body’s natural impulse is to tense the muscles (a direction given by the nervous system). When the muscles are tensed, particularly during the experience of impact, this can create severe strain that remains for weeks following the event.

An expert chiropractor can help to resolve muscle strain by providing a variety of treatments, some of which downregulate the nervous system and allow it to relax, and others which address the muscles directly, relieving residual strain, knots, and tension.

Slipped Ribs

Some people are more prone to slipped ribs than others, and experience movement in their floating ribs when stressed. Others may never experience a slipped rib in their entire life—until an accident or injury occurs.

During a car accident, it’s possible to both slip and break ribs. If your rib or any other bones are broken, it’s important to seek medical care and ensure that they are re-set appropriately.

For ribs that have slipped, this may feel like a sharp stabbing pain, a dull ache, unusual clicking and popping, or pain when pressure is applied to the area of the rib-cage where ribs are floating and non-attached.

A chiropractor can help to massage and ease slipped ribs back into place, as well as perform local adjustments to help facilitate the transition of the rib back into appropriate alignment.

Head and Neck Trauma

NOTE: If you suspect you have experienced severe head trauma, it is advised that you seek a medical examination immediately to ensure that no brain damage, bleeding, or bruising has occurred.

Outside of trauma to the brain, chiropractors can provide some of the most effective care for head and neck trauma, given their specialty in treating the muscular, skeletal, and nervous systems.

With the help of x-rays and an expert assessment, your posture will be assessed for any imbalances and misalignments to determine where a car accident may have disrupted your natural alignment and head and neck health.

Chronic Back Pain

Whether it manifests immediately after a car accident, or years later, chronic back pain is a common side effect of the impact resulting from auto accidents.

Chronic back pain is characterized by pain that has persisted for six months or more. Just as with head and neck trauma, an expert chiropractor will utilize a thorough assessment and series of x-rays to determine where your back pain is originating, and develop a detailed plan for resolving it long-term.

Booking Your Appointment

If you’ve suffered an auto accident recently or in years past and suspect you may be experiencing residual discomfort and loss of vitality as a result, it’s time to book your appointment!

At North Alabama Spine and Rehab, we believe in providing high quality, personalized care that is designed to meet your specific needs. If you live in or near North Alabama, including Birmingham-Hoover, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Daphne-Fairehope-Foley, Decatur, or Auburn-Opelika, then we’re here to help.

Book your appointment today and begin experiencing the highest level of wellness and vitality possible for you and your loved ones.

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