Auto injuries can range from a mere annoying pain to fully debilitating. In many cases, the recommended treatment through a primary doctor or emergency department is prescription pain medications. Discover five reasons why you should choose chiropractic care for your auto injury and the types of auto-related injuries a chiropractor can treat.

1. Pain Relief

Regardless of how serious an auto injury is, many can cause significant pain for anywhere from a few days to years following the injury. One of the first reasons many people seek chiropractic care is because of its ability to help relieve pain.

There are several ways of approaching dealing with pain through the body’s normal processes. One way is through the biochemical responses of the body. Spinal adjustments release special pain-blocking endorphins called beta-endorphins.

The pituitary gland in the brain produces these important endorphins. One study demonstrated a statistically significant increase in beta-endorphin levels through blood tests following spinal manipulation compared to a placebo control group.

This release of beta-endorphins is part of why a chiropractor may recommend more regular adjustments at the beginning of a treatment cycle. Additionally, when there’s a structural misalignment, it takes some strengthening and healing of the surrounding muscles and ligaments to keep the affected structures in their appropriate place.

2. Reduce Inflammation

The body has a natural inflammatory response that’s part of the immune response and healing process. The inflammatory liquid helps isolate pathogens (think bacteria and viruses), as well as start the healing process. When it comes to structural injuries, inflammation helps reduce mobility, which prevents further injury while initiating the healing process.

Misalignments in the spine and other structures in the body can inhibit proper signaling throughout the body. This includes the important function of neuropeptides, which help to regulate inflammatory responses.

One of the primary functions of spinal manipulation is restoring communication throughout the body. This allows the body to effectively communicate when inflammation is no longer needed and to continue the healing process.

3. Accelerate Healing

Healing after an auto injury can be challenging for a number of reasons. First, it can inhibit effective sleep because of discomfort and pain. An auto injury can also reduce your immune system’s function due to interrupted signaling pathways, as discussed with inflammation. Finally, your body may be stuck in the fight, flight, or freeze mode, known as the sympathetic response. A lack of sleep can further exacerbate the sympathetic response, further inhibiting healthy immune function, which controls healing.

The pain relief brought through chiropractic care gives you the opportunity to get the rest needed for proper healing to occur. It helps calm the sympathetic response and initiate the parasympathetic response, which is the restful physiological state needed to promote healing. Finally, it helps strengthen your immune system by ensuring adequate flow of the cerebrospinal fluid up and down your spine.

4. Restore Range of Motion

One of the common complaints of auto injuries is a restricted range of motion in the injured area. This can affect the neck, shoulder, fingers, hips, legs, and ankles, depending on the particulars of the injury. Without prompt treatment, this can lead to debilitating and long-lasting impairment.

A restricted range of motion often starts as a response to inflammation and pain avoidance. However, unnecessarily restricted motion causes structural misalignments, both in the immediate and remote areas. It also causes unusual muscle development and atrophy.

Chiropractic care helps prevent much of this and restores your range of motion to what it was prior to your auto injury. Chiropractors work on restoring the range of motion through three different modalities.

The standard modality is the spinal manipulation that most people associate with chiropractic care. However, they may also employ soft tissue massage, either during your treatment or with a licensed massage therapist.

The final modality is through specific exercises and stretches. Chiropractors are experts in how the body should move, and how to help train the body when it’s not moving properly. When you’ve sustained an auto injury, your body may not be moving properly due to the type of injury. Part of the healing process is stretching and strengthening the injured areas to restore their previous function.

5. Prevent Scar Tissue

Scar tissue is part of the body’s response to injury, providing what’s needed to help those bodily tissues heal. The body needs collagen to heal injuries, especially the soft tissue injuries that are common among auto injuries. This is because collagen is a protein with a fiber-like structure, and is a major component of bone, skin, muscles, and connective tissues.

Collagen is also a major component of scar tissue as well, being it comes to the injured area to promote healing and new cellular development. Unfortunately, significant scar tissue can further restrict movement and cause additional pain being it’s an abnormal tissue.

The good news is that chiropractic care can help break up scar tissue, allowing the affected area to heal. Chiropractors can break up scar tissue using the Graston technique, adjustment instruments like an activator, affected manipulation, trigger point therapy, and therapeutic massage. Depending on your level of scar tissue build-up, your chiropractor may refer you for deep tissue massage with a licensed massage therapist.

Types of Auto Injury Treatments

You’ve seen all the ways that chiropractic care can help you following an auto injury. However, what kind of injuries can a chiropractor effectively treat?


Whiplash is an injury that results from rapid hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck or rapid back-and-forth motion. This can be extremely painful and cause long-term structural issues if not addressed quickly. The best time to see a chiropractor for whiplash is within 72 hours of your accident.

Neck Pain

Injuries other whiplash can also result in neck pain, including strains, sprains, spasms, and muscle stiffness. All of these can come from the jarring that occurs even during low-speed accidents.

Back Pain

Auto-related back pain can include sprains and strains not to mention damage to the spine’s discs. Discs are spongy tissue between the spine’s vertebrae that help protect each vertebra and provide flexibility. They can come out of place during an auto accident, and start pushing on the nerves running along the spine. This can cause referred pain throughout the body, depending on what disc is out of place.

Shoulder Pain

The shoulder can not only experience strains and sprains, but also bursitis, rotator cuff injuries, muscle tears, and numbness along the arms. Many of these injuries are from structural imbalances or inflammation in the tissues around the shoulder.

Seatbelt Injuries

Your seatbelt may have saved your life, but it can also cause injuries when it does its job properly. These include misalignment of vertebrae and ribs, not to mention pinched or pulled nerves.

You don’t have to suffer through pain following an auto injury. Call (425) 636-0303 to schedule your Redmond area auto injury chiropractic consultation.