Auto Injury Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

Chiropractic Tampa, FL

Whiplash is a common injury from a car accident, and chiropractor care is frequently recommended to help treat it. Whiplash occurs most frequently in a rear-end crash, as this force causes the head and neck to go forward and then slam backwards. This, in turn, causes damage to the muscles, ligaments and nerves of the neck and upper back. Whiplash symptoms may show up soon after the accident or days later, and they may include headaches, stiffness, shoulder pain, numbness, dizziness, limited range of motion and back pain.

How chiropractic can help

Whiplash symptoms can worsen over time and eventually lead to chronic pain. Seeing a chiropractor shortly after a crash can address the problem right away and help patients feel better quickly while hopefully preventing any long-term issues.

Proper exam and diagnosis

Chiropractic care is intended to address the root of the problem rather than just the symptoms. After a crash, a chiropractor performs a thorough exam of the spine and nervous system. Many chiropractors will also take x-rays of the spine. This not only lets them see if there are any contraindications, such as fracture, but it also shows them how much degeneration is in the spine. This, along with exam results, helps determine the proper treatment plan for each individual patient.

Spinal adjustments

One of the causes of whiplash pain is misaligned spinal bones. These, in turn, put pressure on the nerves of the neck, which can lead to a variety of issues in the neck, head, upper back and arms. Chiropractors find theses misaligned areas and attempt to adjust them in a specific way to move them back to the proper position and release the nerve pressure. During each visit, the chiropractor makes the necessary adjustments, and the areas of misalignment may change from one visit to another as the body returns to better health.

Muscle work

Whiplash injuries have a big impact on the surrounding muscles. This can lead to spasms, inflammation and stiffness. Many chiropractors may address the muscle injury in numerous ways such as trigger point work, cryotherapy, stretching or laser therapy. Oftentimes, a chiropractor will also refer a patient for massage therapy for continued muscle work.


Once a whiplash injury begins to stabilize, a chiropractor may begin performing specific exercises to help ease disc pain or strengthen muscles and ligaments. The patient may also be given instructions for at-home exercises. This allows the patient to be in charge of their healing and may cut down the number of visits they make to the chiropractor.


Whiplash can be serious, even from seemingly minor accidents. Many times, the symptoms are delayed, so crash victims often do not seek any type of medical care and this can lead to long-term problems. After a crash, people should get a consultation from a chiropractor to see if there is any damage from the impact. Doing so immediately after a collision can address the problem right away and prevent more major issues later on.

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