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I was in an accident! Now what do I do?


What Should You Do After An Auto Accident?

  1. Call the police to report the accident and exchange information with the other driver.
  2. Take pictures of all vehicles involved and the accident scene.
  3. Seek medical attention within 3 days of the accident, even if you don’t have pain, and keep a file of all accident related documents and medical treatments.
  4. Contact the at-fault insurance company to open a claim and determine if you have Med Pay benefits available to you. If you weren’t at-fault, you should still contact your own insurance company to file a claim and determine your Med Pay benefits.


Auto Accident Injury Facts and Tips

  • Auto insurance not only covers damage to your vehicle, but many also have Med Pay to cover costs associated with seeking health care for injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Early active intervention gave whiplash patients more relief (within 4 days versus 14 days).
  • The most common symptoms following whiplash are neck pain, neck stiffness, shoulder pain, headache, pain between the shoulder blades, back pain, numbness and tingling, arm or leg pain or weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness.
  • Injuries from a rear-end crash are worse than injuries from a side or head-on crash. Your head is subjected to 2.5 times the acceleration of your car in rear impact collisions.
  • Injury to the neck occurs at collision speeds of 5 miles per hour.  A car can crash at nearly twice this speed without showing any damage. Minimal or no property damage to your car does not mean you have not sustained an injury. Collisions in the 6-12 mph range cause the highest percentage of whiplash injuries. Many cars can absorb forces in this range without showing any damage.
  • The severity of the injuries is dependent upon the force of the impact, the position of your body of the moment of impact, awareness of the approaching accident and the proper use of restraints and head rests.
  • It can take weeks, months, and sometimes years for undetected spinal damage to show up as chronic headaches, backaches, stiff neck, or even low back pain.
  • Outcomes 5 years following MVA show about 50% of patients continued to have pain and loss of function. Loss of function in the neck can lead to loss of function in the core muscles and eventually lower back pain.


5 Ways Spinal Adjustments Help with Whiplash Injuries

  1. Posture correction.
  2. Healing injured muscles.
  3. Reducing inflammation.
  4. Increased flexibility.
  5. Spinal stabilization


Posture correction is essential to get you looking good, feeling good, and moving well.  To feel better and live with less stress and pain after your whiplash injury, postural correction is vital.

The injury can create weakness in the spine and tension in the shoulders.  Everything feels so tight, so painful, and as frustration builds day after day, it can feel hopeless.  There is a way to achieve this better posture, to heal this neck pain, and to reduce the headaches—spinal adjustments.  Gentle spinal adjustments can improve how you feel, how you move, and make you feel better.  If you get to the cause of your pain, your injury can be healed and fixed.


Injured muscles from a whiplash injury can create tightness, soreness, and pain.  Muscles tear and rip with whiplash injuries, creating misalignments and postural changes, which create inflammation and pain.  Healing these torn and injured muscles can take up to 18 months, and sometimes they never heal properly.  By adjusting the stuck bones of the spine and healing and stabilizing the muscles of the spine, there is less pain and less stiffness.


Inflammation happens when the muscles and tendons in your spine tear or strain.  Inflammation is a natural response to an injury and is there to start the healing process.  The standard for care is to ice to reduce inflammation for the first two or three days, and then use moist heat for relief thereafter.  Pain killers or muscles relaxers can be given, as well, to attempt to manage pain.  To naturally reduce inflammation, high quality fish oil is advised.  Gentle movements and stretches to sore and stiff muscles and tendons also help to reduce inflammation naturally.


Increased flexibility and the ability to move without restriction and pain after a whiplash injury is important.  The stiffness and soreness can be frustrating and makes certain movements hopeless.  Adjustments to the stuck bones in your neck and back feel amazing.  It’s like a monkey being taken off your back.  We love to see whiplash patients feeling great after their adjustments, and they move so much better.


Spinal stabilization is the freedom to move and live without pain from a whiplash injury.  The culmination of postural changes, healing injured muscles, reducing inflammation, and improved flexibility is the ticket to living and moving with less pain and frustration after a whiplash injury.

Matt Kingston
About the author

Dr. Matt Kingston is a licensed Chiropractor who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and his doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic, in Davenport, Iowa. Dr Matt can be seen at Chiropractic Solutions in Madison, WI.

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