What to Do After Pain and a Minor Car Accident: The Importance of Chiropractic Care

Being involved in a car accident, even at low speeds, can be a jarring and unsettling experience. The immediate aftermath is often filled with confusion, worry, and a rush of adrenaline that can mask the onset of injuries. It's crucial to know what steps to take following a minor collision, especially if you experience any pain or discomfort. 

One of the most important steps you can take is to seek the expertise of a chiropractor trained in trauma care. This article will explore why this is essential and provide you with key information on injuries that can occur from low-speed collisions.

Understanding Low-Speed Collisions

Low-speed collisions are typically defined as crashes occurring at speeds under 10-15 mph. While these accidents might seem minor they can still result in significant injuries. 

Here are some key statistics and facts about injuries from low-speed car collisions:

  • Whiplash: This is one of the most common injuries resulting from low-speed, rear-end collisions. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are suddenly whipped forward and back causing strain on the neck muscles and ligaments. Symptoms include neck pain, headaches, dizziness, and memory problems. Studies estimate that 10-40% of people involved in rear-end crashes suffer from whiplash symptoms.
  • Low Back Pain: Around 50% of those with whiplash also report low back pain. The impact can compress spinal discs and strain the muscles this may lead to significant discomfort and potential long-term issues.
  • Concussions and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries: Even at low speeds, if the head strikes part of the vehicle's interior, concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries can occur. Concussion rates of 10-30% have been reported in low-speed crashes.
  • Shoulder Injuries: Bracing against the steering wheel or side door during impact can lead to shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff and labral tears. One study found that 16% of individuals in low-speed crashes sustained shoulder injuries.
  • Wrist, Hand, and Finger Injuries: These injuries including sprains, strains, contusions, and fractures can happen if the occupant's hands are on the steering wheel during impact. The rates vary but may be around 10%.
  • Airbag Injuries: Although airbags are designed to save lives, they can cause abrasions, lacerations, or chemical burns if they deploy. Sometimes this happens in low-speed collisions. Children and shorter drivers are at higher risk.
  • Chest Injuries: These can occur from the seat belt or steering wheel impact, with an estimated 10% of low-speed frontal crashes resulting in chest injuries. These are usually bruises but can include rib fractures.


Why See a Chiropractor Trained in Trauma?

Chiropractors who specialize in trauma are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to address injuries sustained in car accidents effectively. 

Here’s why seeing a car accident chiropractor with trauma training is vital:

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: Chiropractors trained in trauma understand the biomechanics of car accidents and can accurately diagnose injuries that might not be immediately apparent. Early diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment and recovery.
  2. Comprehensive Treatment Plans: These chiropractors develop customized treatment plans tailored to your specific injuries and needs. They focus on addressing the root cause of pain rather than just masking the symptoms, ensuring long-term relief and healing.
  3. Preventing Chronic Conditions: Prompt and appropriate treatment can prevent acute injuries from developing into chronic conditions. For instance, untreated whiplash can lead to chronic neck pain, headaches and other complications.
  4. Non-Invasive Treatment: Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive approach to treating car accident injuries. Techniques such as spinal adjustments, physical therapy, class iv laser, rehabilitation exercises and massage can alleviate pain and promote healing without the need for surgery or medication.
  5. Collaboration with Other Healthcare Providers: Chiropractor with proper training will often collaborate with other healthcare providers such as physical therapists, pain management specialists, and primary care physicians to provide a holistic approach to your recovery. This ensures you receive comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of your health.

Steps to Take After a Minor Car Accident

  1. Check for Injuries: Immediately after the accident check yourself and others for injuries. Seek medical attention right away if anyone is seriously injured.
  2. Visit a Chiropractor: Even if you don't feel immediate pain, it’s essential to see a chiropractor trained in trauma as soon as possible. Some injuries like whiplash and ligament injuries, may not present symptoms until days after the accident.
  3. Follow the Treatment Plan: Adhere to the treatment plan prescribed by your doctors. This may include regular visits, physical therapy, and home exercises. Consistency is key to recovery.
  4. Monitor Your Symptoms: Keep track of any new or worsening symptoms and report them to your chiropractor. They can adjust your treatment plan as needed to ensure optimal recovery.


Low-speed car accidents can cause a range of injuries some of which may not be immediately apparent. Seeking the expertise of a chiropractor trained in trauma is crucial for accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and prevention of chronic conditions. 

By taking the right steps after an accident, you can ensure a smoother and quicker recovery, allowing you to regain your health and well-being. If you’ve been involved in a minor collision, don’t wait—schedule an appointment with a qualified chiropractor charleston, sc today.