How Chiropractic Care Can Help After a Car Accident

Posted on: May 31, 2019

Chiropractic care is frequently recommended for the treatment of injuries after car crashes. According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, most people will be involved in a car accident once every 18 years. If you have recently become part of this statistic, you may be dealing with chronic pain from your accident. While many people deal with residual car accident pain by taking medication (either over-the-counter or prescription), it may be wiser to locate and treat the source of the pain instead of simply managing the symptoms. Chiropractic care deals with the musculoskeletal and nervous systems to correct misalignment and relieve some of the pain associated with car accidents.

Common car accident injuries

Many car accident injuries involve the head, neck and spine. Fortunately, all of these areas can be treated with chiropractic care. Common car accident injuries treated by doctors of chiropractic include:

  • Whiplash
  • Herniated discs
  • Dislocated ribs
  • Vertebral misalignment

Chiropractors can also treat joint pain by adjusting the joints as needed to improve function and combat inflammation.

What are common chiropractic treatment techniques?

Flexion distraction therapy

Flexion distraction therapy is also referred to as decompression manipulation or Cox Technic. To perform this type of treatment, the doctor of chiropractic uses a special table to perform adjustments. As the table is moved according to the chiropractor’s manipulations, the patient receiving treatment feels a gentle stretching sensation throughout the spine and surrounding muscles. Flexion distraction therapy is used to decrease spinal nerve pressure and return motion to the joints.

Gonstead technique

The Gonstead technique is used to realign joints by adjusting the pelvis and/or lower back while the patient is laying on their side. Almost all chiropractors use this method to help relieve lower back and hip pain after a car accident.

Drop table (Thompson) technique

A drop table is made with multiple padded platforms. One or more of the platforms is designed to drop slightly when quick pressure is applied to it. The patient lies on the table, and the chiropractor applies a quick, downward thrusting motion to the area of the spine that is out of alignment. The padded platform directly beneath the site being adjusted drops just a fraction of an inch to help make the adjustment more comfortable for the patient. This type of treatment is often used for injuries to the spine or extremities.

Activator technique

Chiropractors use a handheld instrument to perform the activator technique on patients. The instrument sends gentle pulses of pressure to specific segments of vertebrae. Many patients describe the sensation as a gentle, repeated thump. The tool can treat many post-accident pains, including headaches and lower back discomfort. The activator technique is a great choice for seniors and young patients who may be nervous at the thought of receiving traditional spinal manipulation.

Diversified technique

Diversified technique is highly precise and uses methods similar to the Gonstead technique to correct alignment and restore movement to the spine after a car accident. The diversified technique relies primarily on thrusting motions from the hands to move specific vertebrae into proper position.


Car accident pain can be persistent and life-altering. Fortunately, some of the most common car accident injuries involving the spine and neck can be treated with hands-on chiropractic care.

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