Auto Accidents and Chiropractic Care
In an auto accident, our bodies tense up as an involuntary reaction and prepare for impact. This tensing process alone can throw the balance off in split seconds before impact occurs. Auto accidents are one of the leading causes for misalignment of the spine and discs. Joints, tendons, and other muscular aspects can also be affected by a car accident. In the treatment of the spine for auto-related injuries, chiropractic care can provide faster results with a shorter required care period than other types of treatment.
Chiropractic care for auto injuries provides a natural and drug-free approach to treatment. Not every human body is compatible with drugs or responds well to aggressive treatment plans, though chiropractic treatment may not work exclusively to fix injuries. Your chiropractor will work with you to create a unique treatment plan to address your individual concerns and ailments.
An injury to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head, backward, forward, or sideways, is commonly referred to as “whiplash”. During such an injury, neck ligaments and muscles can be sprained or strained and vertebrae can be misaligned. While the term “whiplash” is most frequently used to describe auto accident injuries (in which a person is rear-ended, hit head-on, or hit from the side), whiplash can also frequently occur during sports accidents, falls, blows to the head, concussions, and other head/neck traumas. As a result of such traumas, an individual may also suffer from post-concussion syndrome.
Whiplash symptoms can include:
Headache / Migraine 22-34
Visual disturbance 35-38
Personality and cognitive changes (depression, attention deficit, memory loss, concentration difficulty) 39-56
Fatigue, Insomnia, Sleep disorders 57-58
In certain cases, more severe neurological symptoms can manifest (sometimes occurring many years after the accident) such as tremor, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, seizures, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy, to name a few.69-77
How Upper Cervical Care Relates to Whiplash / Auto Accidents
Following the whiplash accident, symptoms can be triggered immediately or can take months or years to develop. The purpose of BLAIR UPPER CERVICAL TREATMENT is to reverse the trauma-induced upper neck injury; thereby reducing irritation to the nerves in the brain stem and spinal cord that can trigger pain and other symptoms. After an accident, an evaluation is necessary in each individual’s case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from BLAIR UPPER CERVICAL TREATMENT can be achieved.
More Case Studies / Whiplash Auto Accidents
Female, Age 44 years, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Depression, Neck Pain
This 44-year-old was involved in an auto accident 25 years prior in which she hit her head on the windshield. Several years later, she had her first episode of neck pain in which her neck seized up and laterally flexed to the left. Over the years, she sporadically woke up in tremendous pain due to her neck seizing up. During the year prior to upper cervical treatment, the neck pain worsened with more frequent episodes. She also suffered with irritable bowel syndrome for the year prior to upper cervical care and experienced depression as a result of all of her discomfort.
During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found, perhaps resulting from her auto accident several decades before. After only three weeks of care, her neck pain and irritable bowel syndrome were completely gone. She returned to normal eating and normal exercise. The depression disappeared as well. Several years later, she had no return of symptoms.
Male, Age 50 years, Dizziness, Ear Congestion, Sinus Headaches
This 50-year-old male was involved in an auto accident in 1986. One year later, he experienced a stiff neck, fatigue, dizziness, ear congestion, and ringing in his ears. The symptoms came and went for the first three months. Finally they became constant, and were aggravated during flying. He tried many types of decongestants but the problems persisted. Medical doctors had no answers for him.
During his chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was found that most likely stemmed from his auto accident. During the first two months of upper cervical care, the symptoms decreased dramatically. Several months later, he was symptom free, the first time in two years.
Female, Age 51 years, Dizziness, Labyrinthitis, Hearing Loss, Ear Congestion
This 51-year-old female suffered from her first dizzy spell in the early ’80’s while flying on a plane. She had a cold at the time and her ears didn’t adjust to the altitude. Her ears filled with fluid so she had them drained by puncturing her eardrum. Unfortunately, the clogged ears returned and she was plagued by dizzy spells and congestion and was forced to take Drixoral on a daily basis to keep the congestion down. She also suffered from hearing loss as a result of the congestion. Prior to the first dizzy spell, she was in an auto accident in which she sustained enough injury to her neck to require a month’s hospitalization. She suffered from chronic congestion and frequent dizzy spells for ten years before seeking help from upper cervical care.
During her chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered, which probably resulted from her auto accident.
After beginning upper cervical care, no further dizzy spells occurred. Her ear congestion cleared so she discontinued daily medication. She also reported having better hearing and that her ears adjusted properly to the altitude during flying.
Female, Age 47 years, Fibromyalgia, Whiplash
This 47-year-old female suffered from fibromyalgia for four years prior to seeking help from upper cervical care. Her symptoms began one month following an auto accident in which her head whipped back and forth (whiplash). She felt the pain most often in her back, neck, shoulders, chest, and hands. The pain in her chest became so strong at times that it hurt to breathe.
During her initial exam, myofascial trigger points were palpable throughout her back, neck, chest, and legs. Her hands were so painful that she had difficulty opening them or making fists. She rated the pain as an 8 or 9 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most severe. She tried many drugs including amitriptyline to reduce the pain enough to help her sleep at night. Her upper cervical exam revealed an upper neck injury, which most likely occurred during her auto accident. After 6 months of upper cervical care, she routinely reported the pain being down at a tolerable “3” level– a level which no longer ruled her life. She was able to discontinue medications. She had not had pain during breathing and participated more actively in life with minimal discomfort.
Female, Age 56 years, Neck Pain, Headaches, Chronic Fatigue
This 56-year-old female suffered from chronic neck pain, headaches, and fatigue for years. She thought the problems may have started sometime after an auto accident she experienced 14 years before. During the accident, she was hit head-on and totaled her car. The pain bothered her on and off for years– sometimes on a daily basis and other times a month would go by without pain. She tried many practitioners such as massage therapists and chiropractors and received some relief but still the problem continued year after year. Finally, after struggling over a decade, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.
During her upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found, most likely stemming from her auto accident. Unfortunately the injury had never been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. After only 3 upper cervical adjustments, her neck injury was corrected. All neck pain, headaches, and fatigue healed and never returned.
Male, Age 25 years, Lumbar Herniated Disc
This 25-year-old male was involved in an auto accident in which his car rolled over at 55mph and was totaled. Two weeks later, he experienced his first episode of severe low back pain that shot down his right leg. The pain eventually subsided but reoccurred approximately six months later while playing volleyball, a sport he played his entire life. He immediately sought help from an orthopedist who ordered an MRI of his low back. He was diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation and prescribed pain pills and physical therapy. During physical therapy, he was put through a series of exercises, stretches, and traction for over six months. While the therapy seemed to help somewhat, he was plagued with chronic low back pain and stiffness and was unable to resume playing volleyball. His orthopedist recommended disc surgery. After struggling one year with chronic low back pain and wanting to avoid surgery, he sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.
During his initial chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from his rollover auto accident. Within his first month of upper cervical care, he noticed increased strength in his spine and less pain. After two months, he was able to incorporate exercise back into his life and noticed his back was feeling well. Several months later, he resumed regular activity, including volleyball, without pain, and was very happy to have avoided back surgery. One year later, he remained symptom-free.
Female, Age 61 years, Cervical Herniated Disc
This 61-year-old female was diagnosed with a herniated disc by her neurologist after an MRI showed a central disc lesion at C6-7. Her symptoms included neck pain, numbness in both arms and hands, and headaches. Her neurologist recommended surgery. The neck injury possibly stemmed from an auto accident one year prior in which she was rear-ended and knocked forward three car lengths.
During this patient’s chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was discovered-probably the result of whiplash during her accident. After several months of upper cervical chiropractic care, her neck injury healed. She no longer felt pain, numbness, or headaches, so she was able to avoid surgery.
Male, Age 34 years, Head Injury, Whiplash, Headaches, Sleep Disorder, Fatigue
This 34-year-old male suffered a head injury during an auto accident in which he was rear-ended at 50mph. He described severe pain in his neck and back and headaches that originated at the base of his skull and spread to his left eye. His pain was so severe that it prevented him from sleeping, so he suffered from severe fatigue. To maintain some level of function during the day, he relied on multiple caffeinated beverages such as jolt or bull colas and/or coffee. At the time of his initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation (14 months after the accident), he had been suffering with all of the above symptoms for over a year. He had sought help from numerous practitioners including physicians, neurologists, and therapists, to no avail. He reported receiving some temporary relief from Pilates.
During his evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered, which had likely been caused by his auto accident. After the first month of care, be began to notice less pain and a slightly better ability to sleep. By the third month of care, he was reporting a larger reduction in pain levels, which was enabling him to resume exercising. After six months, all pain was absent, normal sleep was resumed, and he was able to participate in all previous activities and sports, including working full-time.
Male, Age 56 years, Headaches
This 56-year-old male was rear-ended on the freeway at 60 mph. The impact rendered him unconscious and he awakened in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. At the hospital, some broken ribs and bruises were found but no other injuries were reported. Some mild headaches occurred several days after the auto accident and then temporarily went away. A couple of months later, the headaches returned and occurred daily. After visiting his family physician and neurologist who did not have any suggestions, he was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.
At his initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered that likely stemmed from the auto accident. During the first month of upper cervical care, the headaches diminished considerably. By the third month of care, all headaches were absent.
Female, Age 52 years, Migraine Headaches, Neck Pain, Whiplash, Head Injury
This 52-year-old female was involved in two auto accidents three years apart. The first auto accident (she was rear-ended) caused migraines, neck pain, and head injury symptoms, including insomnia, depression, memory loss, and inability to multi-task. These symptoms were worsened after her second auto accident in which she was also rear-ended. She tried multiple therapies including physical therapy, chiropractic care, cranial sacral therapy, as well as medications from her neurologist but she could hardly function due to severity of her cognitive symptoms and pain.
During her initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered that had not been addressed by her previous practitioners. After the first upper cervical correction, she noticed that her migraines lessened. After two weeks of care, she reported noticing she was “in a better mood, had more patience, and was less grumpy”. By the second month of care, migraines were greatly reduced and many of her cognitive symptoms were noticeably better. She reported sleeping better, having better energy, having a clear head to go about her daily tasks, experiencing an improved mood, and noticing excellent concentration. By the end of four months of care, she routinely reported feeling “excellently” and had few migraines and few cognitive symptoms.
Female, Age 40 years, Headaches, Neck Pain, Clavicle Pain, Numbness in Fingers
This 40-year-old female suffered with neck and clavicle pain and numbness in her 3rd and 4th fingers of her right hand for the past 6 months. Her right grip strength was weak and she complained of pain in her right elbow. She also suffered from headaches approximately once per week. The neck injury possibly stemmed from two different auto accidents she experienced eight years prior.
This patient was adjusted only three times and had complete correction of her neck pain, clavicle pain, headaches, finger numbness, and grip weakness within two weeks of upper cervical care.
Male, Age 25 years, Post Auto-accident Neck Pain, Headaches, Numbness in Hands, Fatigue
After an auto-accident last spring, this 25-year-old male experienced spinal pain, fatigue, restlessness, headaches, and numbness in his hands for the last 6 months. After the first adjustment, his symptoms improved substantially. One month later, he did not need to be adjusted again and all of his symptoms were completely gone. Eighteen months later, he had no return of symptoms.
Female, Age 16 years, Post Auto-Accident Spinal Pain, Headaches
This 16-year-old female was a high school track star until an auto accident last spring. Following the accident, she experienced neck pain, low back pain, and headaches. The pain hindered her performance in track. In addition, her performance in school was affected– her grades dropped and she had trouble concentrating in school.
Within a week of care, her pain disappeared and she began running track better, winning races, and eventually won her team’s most improved award. Her ability to concentrate in school also came back up and so did her grades.
Female, Age 37 years, Insomnia, Headaches
This 37-year-old female presented with insomnia and headaches since an auto accident 2 years ago. When she tried to sleep at night, it usually took her 4-5 hours to fall asleep even though she was exhausted all day. When she tried to take naps, she could never fall asleep. She also had been plagued with headaches since the accident that involved pain near her ears and cheeks and occasionally caused nausea.
After 1 month of care, she fell asleep within a half-hour when she went to bed at night and slept through the night. She also took naps but eventually did not find them necessary because she was no longer exhausted and fatigued during the day. In addition, the headaches were gone.
Female, Age 51 years, Head Injury, Whiplash
This 51-year-old female was involved in an auto accident in which she was diagnosed with head injury / whiplash. The accident occurred three months prior and her symptoms had been constant ever since. They included daily headaches, nausea, muscle stiffness, jaw pain, mental confusion, memory loss, and personality changes. She had tried osteopathic care and massage but the symptoms continued. Eventually she was referred by a friend for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.
During her initial evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered through two diagnostic tests. After the first neck correction, she reported that she felt “more like herself, was in better spirits, and could be around people again”. She also stated that she hadn’t experienced any headaches or nausea. A week later, she described feeling clear in her head, improvement in her jaw pain, and better energy. All other symptoms had remained absent. Several weeks later, her case was stabilized and all symptoms remained absent.
Female, Age 48 years, Head / Neck Injury
This 48-year-old female was involved in a ski accident three years prior in which another skier ran into her at approximately 15 miles per hour. She sustained head and neck injuries and was unable to work a full week for three years. Before upper cervical care, her complaints included headaches, neck pain, low back and left leg pain, fatigue, mental confusion, and frequent episodes of what she termed “brain shutdown” where she could not function. During her chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was found.
After several months of care, she improved substantially. She no longer had periods of brain shutdown and resumed a full workweek. She rarely reported headaches or neck pain. The pain in her low back and leg was completely corrected. Her mental clarity and energy level were much improved.
Female, Age 30 years, Spinal Pain, Concussion, Whiplash
This 30-year-old female suffered two different traumas and was afflicted with spinal pain ever since. The first was a fall on ice in which she hit her head on the pavement and suffered a mild concussion. The second was an auto accident in which she was rear-ended and thrown against the windshield. The spinal pain had been severely hindering her training and performance as a marathon runner. During her initial evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered.
After approximately 2 months of upper cervical care, the spinal pain healed and she was able to train and run pain-free. Over a year later, she still trained without pain.
Female, Age 37 years, Neck Pain, Arm Pain, Headaches, Thumb Pain, Low Back Pain
This 37-year-old female suffered from pain since a fall backwards on a slip & slide 15 years prior, in which she fell flat on her back and suffered a whiplash/concussion. She had constant pain in her neck, back, right arm, right thumb, right sacro-iliac joint, and daily dull headaches ever since. She had been told her pain was due to arthritis so she was prescribed arthritis medication that provided no relief.
During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found which most likely stemmed from her fall on the slip & slide. After 3 months of upper cervical care, all pains and headaches were absent.
Female, Age 19 years, Crohn’s Disease
This 19-year-old female suffered from Crohn’s disease following an auto accident in which she was hit at 45mph. Following the accident, she felt a sore neck and back. Within two months following the accident, she lost 35 pounds due to bowel cramps, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. She suffered for two years with bowel trouble before seeking help from upper cervical care.
During her initial evaluation, a neck injury was discovered, which was likely caused by her auto accident. During the first month of care, her bowel symptoms improved. By the second month, all bowel activity had returned to normal.
Female, Age 50 years, Chronic Neck Pain, Whiplash
This 50-year-old female had neck pain since the age of 10 when she dove head first into a sandbar in the ocean suffering from a whiplash/neck pain. The pain worsened over the last 5 years to the point that she hardly could turn to the left at all. After one month of upper cervical care, her neck pain healed and was gone.
Female, Age 25 years, Neck and Upper Back Pain
This 25-year-old female described a history of constant neck and upper back pain since an auto accident two years prior. During the accident, her car was hit at approximately 45 mph. She was hospitalized for two days following the accident and released. For the previous two years, she had struggled with chronic pain and was referred for an upper cervical chiropractic evaluation by her massage therapist.
During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was found, which probably stemmed from her auto accident. Once her head and neck alignment was properly corrected, all of her pain in her neck and upper back was absent.
Female, Age 49 years, Headaches, Neck Pain, Loss of Sense of Taste
This 49-year-old female was involved in 6 different auto accidents during a 5-year period. After each accident, she suffered increased pain in her neck and head. Her third accident was most severe in that she suffered a head injury. After that accident, in addition to experiencing an increase in pain, she lost her sense of taste. Her neurologist told her the damage to the nerves controlling taste was most likely permanent and due to the head injury. She tried many forms of treatment over the years including pain pills, chiropractic care, and physical therapy. Sometime she received benefit, sometimes not, but the results were never consistent or long lasting. After struggling for 8 years with headaches and neck pain and 6 years with loss of her sense of taste, she sought help from upper cervical chiropractic care.
During her initial examination, an upper neck injury was discovered, which unfortunately had not been addressed by any of her previous practitioners. Within the first month of upper cervical care, she experienced tremendous improvement in the amount of neck pain and headaches. By the second and third months of care, she noticed brief sensations of taste when eating certain foods and continued to show lessening in neck pain and headaches. By the fourth month of care, she experienced taste consistently, the first time in 6 years. After five months, all headaches and neck pain were absent.
Female, Age 36 years, Neck, Upper Back, Trapezius/Shoulder Pain, “Hunchback”
This 36-year-old female suffered from pain since a whiplash auto accident 12 years before seeking help from upper cervical care. The pain worsened after a second accident, five years after the first, in which she suffered a concussion. She suffered many days at work on a computer in which her neck spasmed and forced her to stop working. In addition, she was forced to stop exercising due to pain, which caused her to gain weight.
During her initial upper cervical chiropractic exam, an upper neck injury was found which most likely stemmed from her two accidents. She also had a severe curve in her upper back (kyphosis), which she called her “hunchback”. After six months of upper cervical care, all pain was gone. She resumed exercising including weight training without pain and was able to work at her computer without pain. In addition, correcting the neck injury had improved her spinal strength and function so the hunchback disappeared.
Female, Age 52 years, Whiplash, Pain, Dizziness, Anxiety, Numbness
This 52-year-old female was involved in an auto accident six months prior to upper cervical care in which she was hit sideways at 45 miles per hour. For six months, she experienced numbness of her face, blurred vision, headaches, ear ringing, anxiety, dizziness, loss of sleep, and neck and mid back pain. She tried general chiropractic care and had some relief but the results were temporary. After suffering for six months, she tried upper cervical care.
After a careful analysis of her neck injury from the auto accident, she received her first adjustment. After the first adjustment, she reported that her anxiety was cut in half, she had no headaches, her ear popped open and the ringing stopped, she slept better, the pain was reduced, and dizziness stopped. One week later, all symptoms were corrected except for some slight numbness in her face. Two weeks later, the numbness healed as well. Months later, she remained symptom-free.
Female, Age 48 years, Numbness, Pain, and Tingling down Extremities
After an auto accident 10 years ago, this 48-year-old female experienced neck pain, numbness and tingling down her arms and legs, and headaches ever since. An upper cervical chiropractic examination revealed an upper neck injury, most likely the result of her accident ten years prior.
After the first upper cervical adjustment, all of the numbness and tingling was gone. A few adjustments later, she was pain and symptom free and has remained symptom-free ever since.
Female, Age 33 years, TMJ Dysfunction, Headaches, Whiplash
This 33-year old female suffered from a TMJ disorder for 15 years following a severe car accident. During the accident, her car was hit from the side at approximately 45mph. She broke several ribs, dislocated her shoulders, and suffered whiplash. Following the accident, she immediately began to have problems with her jaw, especially on the right side. The problem caused her to grind her teeth badly at night so she was given a splint to wear. In addition to the pain in her jaw, she also began suffering with headaches and pain in her right ear. The pain was so severe that she had trouble sleeping. She sought help from many practitioners over the 15 years but the problems continued. Her most recent recommendation from her dentist was to undergo jaw surgery that would cost thousands of dollars. Instead, she took the advice of her biofeedback practitioner and decided to undergo and upper cervical chiropractic evaluation.
During her evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered that was most likely caused by her auto accident 15 years prior. The neck injury was causing the TMJ, headaches, and the ear pain. After the first upper cervical adjustment, she reported feeling immediate relief and was certain that she was finally on the path toward recovery. Within a month, she was able to decrease the use of her splint and reported significantly less teeth grinding, jaw pain, ear pain, and headaches. Within two months, her symptoms were absent and she was able to discontinue use of the splint.