Auto Accident Injury Chiropractic Care

There are vehicle accidents that occur approximately every 5 minutes, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. More than 35,000 auto accidents occur in King County annually.

Types of Injuries Sustained In Auto Accidents

Common auto accident injuries include whiplash, back trauma, muscle strains, bruising, cuts, and broken bones. Many people walk away from a vehicle accident believing they are unscathed because they do not feel pain immediately. However, pain may not present itself until many hours or days following the impact. Often, the body remains in a state of shock and when your adrenaline is high, pain is not often felt. When an injury to the soft tissue, tendons, or muscles is not treated, it can be felt years later. Left untreated, some injuries can lead to osteoarthritis.

Chiropractic Insurance Coverage

Chiropractic care for an auto accident is normally covered under major insurance policies. In fact, chiropractic care is normally a benefit that is a covered expense even if it is not trauma related. In other words, if you have an old injury that begins causing pain and discomfort, chances are your medical insurance will cover some or all of the treatment costs.

Several years ago, most insurance coverages excluded chiropractic coverage, but today that is not the norm. The shift in coverage stems from the fact that chiropractic services have helped millions of people live healthier lives without the use of drugs. Moreover, chiropractic care is less expensive, and often a preventative measure to more serious conditions. In the end, insurance companies realized adding this coverage benefit would ultimately save them money in the long run.

Timeline for Care

The timeline for chiropractic care depends on the injury and how well the individual responds to treatment. Broken bones heal within six weeks or less, tendons and ligaments can take around eight weeks. Injuries to the disks can take three or more months heal, and whiplash may take even longer, depending on the severity of the trauma.

When you first visit your chiropractor, he or she will examine you thoroughly, take a medical history, and order several lab tests, such as a CT Scan, MRI, and x-rays. These give the doctor a clearer idea of the seriousness of the injury. Based on the findings, the doctor will devise a treatment plan for you personally. Ordinarily, you will visit your chiropractor several times each week for in-office treatments in an effort to ease your pain quickly. The visits become less frequent as the pain diminishes, and your body begins to naturally heal.

Your treatment may consist of spinal manipulation if your x-rays tests reveal that your spine is out of alignment. When the spine is not properly aligned, it can lead to the surrounding nerves being compressed. This can lead to pain and numbness in the back, chest, arms, and legs. Another common condition is bulging disks, which “pinch” or press on nerves, which can be very painful. A common condition from a bulging disk is sciatica, which happens when a disk in your lower back bulges and pressed against the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is rather large and is in the lower back and runs down the back of both legs. Sciatica causes a sharp, knife-life pain that can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, and the back of the legs.

Examples of People That Have Used Chiropractor After Accidents

Many people, including athletes and celebrities, visit chiropractors after an accident to heal without the use of harsh drugs. Athletes like Lance Armstrong has worked with a chiropractor since his Tour de France due to the harsh conditions it had on his body. Dan O’Brien has been seeing chiropractors for many years due to multiple injuries during his career.


Automobile accidents occur daily in Seattle. In fact, it is estimated that over a lifetime, 1 in 20 people will have been involved in some type of auto accident. Many of these are not life-threatening but can do damage to spinal disks, soft tissue, muscles, and tendons. without proper treatment, these injuries can cause you pain and discomfort months and years after the actual accident occurred.

Major medical insurance today covers chiropractic care for auto accidents and other injuries. Even if you are not in pain following an auto accident, visiting your chiropractor for a thorough examination is advisable because there could be damage that doesn’t produce pain initially.

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