If you have recently been involved in an auto accident, there is a high likelihood that you might have suffered an injury to your back or neck. While neck injuries might initially seem mild, they should always be given plenty of scrutiny. After all, neck and back injuries tend to get progressively worse over time if not treated properly and timely.

If by chance you believe your neck injury or injuries are quite significant, you should immediately seek medical attention. In fact, it would be prudent to head right to a hospital for assessment as soon as possible to avoid further issues.

Assuming your injuries are seemingly mild or moderate, you might be better off seeing a chiropractor. They can assess your injuries, if any, and offer non-invasive treatment options that can help reduce your pain. They can also address any alignment issues (neck/back/joints) that might have occurred as a result of the car accident.

As far as what kind of neck injury or injuries you might have incurred, there are five kinds that would be considered common within the chiropractic community. Let’s take a look at these kinds of neck injuries in more depth.


Whiplash is by far the most common kind of neck injury associated with car accidents. It’s a condition that occurs when the head is suddenly thrust forward followed by recoiling to the back.

This violent movement of the head can cause a number of whiplash symptoms, including:

  • Excruciating pain with neck and head movements
  • Neck stiffness caused my muscle contractions
  • Chronic headaches
  • Blurred vision and dizziness
  • Loss of range of motion in the neck
  • Pain issues in the shoulders, back, and upper arms
  • Tingling and numbness in the arms
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Ringing in the ears

If not treated in a timely manner, whiplash can result in long-term neck and back issues, including chronic pain. A chiropractor will typically treat whiplash with muscle relaxation techniques, plus adjustment and exercises to strengthen the neck muscles. The goal would be to increase blood flow to the damaged area or areas.

Herniated and Ruptured Discs

The sudden impact of a car accident can put enormous stress on the discs that serve as cushions in between each vertebra of the neck. This condition occurs when the outer layer of a disc tears, resulting in the disc fluid seeping out.

The symptoms of a herniated/ruptured disk in your neck include:

  • Pain that travels from the upper arms to the fingers
  • Sharp pain in between the shoulder blades
  • Pain in the back and sides of the neck
  • Increasing pain whenever the head or neck is moved in any direction
  • Tingling/numbness in the arms

Chiropractors will typically treat this condition with muscle relaxation exercises and adjustments in the back to help keep pressure off the neck vertebrae.

Neck Fractures

As a precautionary measure after a car accident, especially if you were to experience neck pain, you would want to get your neck checked for possible fractures. A fracture is the partial breaking of a neck bone. If the fracture were to be considered significant, it would certainly require medical attention with surgery as a distinct possibility. If the fracture were to be minor to moderate, a chiropractor would seek to completely stabilize the neck, allowing the fracture to heal on its own. That could take two to six weeks, depending on the size of the fracture. Apex Chiropractic has on site digital x-rays and this is something they would absolutely look for following a traumatic car accident.

Aggravation of Stenosis

Stenosis is a condition that results from the narrowing of the spinal canal through which the nerves travel throughout the body. As the canal narrows, it can cause the pinching of nerves, which often results in shooting pain. While stenosis typically occurs as a function of age, the sudden impact of a car accident can aggravate the condition, causing the stenosis process to accelerate over time.

A chiropractor will typically treat this condition with a series of neck and spine adjustments that will assist in the relief of pain associated with pinched nerves. If the issue were to become too severe, medical intervention might be required.

Soft Tissues Injuries

Soft tissue injuries around the neck do not involve neck bones/vertebrae. Instead, these would be injuries to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles surrounding the neck’s skeletal structure. Soft tissue injuries can be quite painful, but they can heal quickly with the help of a chiropractor. A chiropractor will typically use a series of muscle relaxing techniques that are designed to increase the flow of healthy blood to the injured area. They might also prescribe the use of a low level light therapy to help the healing process gets started.

As long as there is no significant tearing of soft tissue, these types of injuries will heal in about two to four weeks. After healing, a chiropractor might choose to employ adjustments to help strengthen the areas surrounding where the injury took place.

If you have recently been in a car accident that has resulted in mild to moderate neck pain and discomfort, it would be prudent for you to give Apex Chiropractic a call and schedule an appointment for our chiropractic services. You can reach one of our staff members by Phone at 720-328-1790 or email us.