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3 injuries to watch for after a car accident

While you may not immediately notice signs of injury after a car accident, the impact from the event puts you at risk for multiple health concerns. Injuries affecting the head, neck, and spine are particularly common after car accidents and can benefit from prompt chiropractic treatment.

Let’s learn more about three common injuries to be aware of after a car accident.


Whiplash is a common neck condition that occurs when the head quickly and unexpectedly snaps back and forth. This often occurs in car accidents, mainly rear-end crashes. Even mild car accidents can cause whiplash, making it important to check for symptoms in the days following the crash.

Symptoms of whiplash may include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Poor range of motion in the neck
  • Headaches, usually from the base of the skull
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Arm, shoulder, or upper back pain
  • Tingling in the arm
  • Numbness in the arm

After just a few weeks in treatment, whiplash patients usually make a recovery. Chiropractic care can be particularly helpful in cases of whiplash, as it deals directly with the nerves and spine. Your chiropractor may perform manual adjustments and help you with relaxation methods to ease the symptoms of whiplash after a car accident.


A concussion is a brain injury that occurs after a traumatic event, such as a blow to the head or fast head movement. During this event, the brain rebounds inside the skull, leading to cuts and bruising. Physical symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, and light or noise sensitivity.

Concussions are classified into three different grades based on severity:

  • In a Grade 1 concussion, the patient remains conscious. Amnesia isn’t likely but may take place for less than 30 minutes.
  • In a Grade 2 concussion, the patient may lose consciousness for under 5 minutes, but amnesia may occur for 30 minutes to 24 hours.
  • In a Grade 3 concussion, the patient may lose consciousness for longer than 5 minutes, with amnesia that lasts for over 24 hours.

After a car accident, crash victims need to get checked for a concussion. An untreated concussion can lead to further brain damage and lasting problems.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when one of the soft discs cushioning the spinal bones is torn. Specifically, when herniation occurs, the rubbery exterior (annulus) of the disc is torn and the jelly-like interior (nucleus) presses out through the tear. This can cause nerve irritation around the spine, along with pain, numbness, and weakness. However, many people with a herniated disc don’t have any symptoms.

The large force exerted on the spine during many auto accidents makes the risk for herniated discs high among crash victims. Chiropractic care can help patients with a herniated disc through spinal decompression, spinal manipulation, strengthening exercises, relaxation methods, and more.

Click here to contact Florida Spine & Injury Institute of Lakeland to learn more about the benefits of chiropractic for auto accident injuries.