Should You See a Chiropractor After a Fender Bender?

An accident is just that — an accident, meaning it’s unexpected. You don’t have time to brace or protect yourself from injury when an accident occurs, even when the impact seems relatively mild. You may likely have sustained an injury that threw your joints out of alignment because you had no time to prepare and protect them from injury.

Many of the injuries associated with a car accident may take a few days to show up. Right after the accident, your adrenaline is pumping and you’re distracted by the surprise of the incident. You don’t necessarily have time to truly evaluate how your body is feeling.

At Joyce Family Wellness, we urge you to get checked by a chiropractor like Dr. John Joyce — even after a seemingly mild event — and as soon as possible. He can help evaluate the health of your whole body and offer adjustments, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes to prevent small injuries from escalating later on.


Common injuries following a car accident include mild to moderate pain in your neck and back. Research shows that whiplash is possible even at speeds as low as 5-10 mph.

This injury occurs because of how your body reacts to being jerked when hit from behind. Your body is whipped forward and backward, stretching your neck uncontrollably — resulting in micro-tears in the surrounding ligaments.

Whiplash can cause symptoms including neck pain and stiffness, limited range of motion in your neck, radiating pain in your shoulders and arms, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, and pain in your lower back.

Disk herniations

The impact from a mild accident can be enough to throw your disks out of alignment. Between each of the bones, or vertebrae, in your spine are spongy disks. Think of these disks like a jelly doughnut, with an outer membrane filled with a soft interior. When a disk is herniated or slipped, the outer membrane punctures and allows some of the fluid to leak out, which irritates surrounding nerves and causes pain.

If your back is vulnerable due to a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, or a genetic predisposition, the impact of a fender bender can be enough to herniate a disk. A chiropractor can diagnose the herniation before it becomes a disabling injury and offer treatment.

Vertebrae misalignments

A fender bender is enough to throw the bones, or vertebrae, of your spine out of alignment. When these subluxations occur, the nerves of your body suffer and can cause associated pain, including sciatica, shoulder aches, tingling or numbness in your extremities, and overall inflammation.

Simple chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue manipulation can help coax your spine back into proper alignment so you don’t suffer.

Dr. Joyce can help your soft tissue injuries heal faster than they would on their own. He can also help restore mobility related to stiffness or soreness experienced as a result of your accident. His goal is promoting your long-term health, so why delay?

Visit Dr. Joyce as soon as possible following an auto wreck, even one that seems minor. Your body will thank you.

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