Chiropractic care is one of the most common treatments for whiplash injuries. Here are answers to the most common questions.

A woman clutches the back of her neck in pain after a rear-end car accident.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is sudden hypertension and hyperflexion of the spine in the neck or cervical region beyond its normal range of motion. Whiplash is a common injury in non-fatal car accidents, especially rear-enders, but can also occur due to other trauma, like high-impact sports.

How does whiplash happen?

Whiplash occurs when impact flings your neck forward and suddenly backward with a lot of force on the rebound phase, tracing a whiplash’s motion. Ligaments and tendons tear and vertebral discs slip out of place, causing pain and decreased range of motion.

How much vehicular speed is required to cause whiplash?

Whiplash is common in rear-end collisions at slow speed. Collisions of 5 to 10 miles per hour can cause whiplash. According to Panjabi, et al., a Yale University study explains that ligament, joint, and disc injuries can occur in forces between 6.5 and 5.8 G, typical for crashes less than 15mph. Don’t downplay injuries from a low-speed collision since whiplash could be one of them.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

Most symptoms of whiplash do not manifest until days or weeks after the injury. Whiplash’s telltale signs are pain in the upper cervical region, soreness, and stiffness. If you suffer nerve root encroachment after whiplash, you may experience headaches, vertigo, dizziness, blurred vision, tinnitus, fatigue, numbness, and inability to concentrate.

A woman is receiving chiropractic care for a whiplash injury.

Can chiropractors help with whiplash?

Chiropractors employ spinal adjustment techniques to realign your spine, restore mobility, reduce inflammation, and minimize pain. The adjustments improve the spinal alignment and central nervous system function to treat symptoms of whiplash and prevent long-term mobility issues.

How does a chiropractor diagnose a whiplash injury?

A chiropractor uses motion assessment, body posture evaluation, and imaging tests to diagnose whiplash. The chiropractor will examine your whole spine before developing a treatment plan for your whiplash injury.

How do chiropractors treat whiplash injuries?

Chiropractors treat whiplash injuries using corrective, noninvasive mechanisms. The mechanisms involve spinal manipulation and soft tissue therapy to realign your vertebrae bones and restore the range of motion in your neck while eliminating pain. Chiropractic treatment can involve slow adjustments or thrusts to push the spine back into its functional position.

What long-term problems are associated with whiplash injuries?

If whiplash is left untreated, it may morph into chronic neck pain and limited mobility. Chronic pain is more likely to occur in people with a history of neck issues or previous cases of whiplash, older adults, and after severe car accidents. Treatment during the acute phase is essential.

Can whiplash cause neurological problems?

Whiplash can cause neurological problems like brain fog when nerve root encroachment occurs from the pressure of herniated discs. Referred pain is another neurological problem associated with damaged ligaments and facet joint damage.

How is inflammation caused by whiplash treated by a chiropractor?

Spinal adjustments realign your spine to improve circulation and cut back on cytokine production, the culprit behind excess inflammation. The chiropractor can use soft tissue manipulation to target the inflamed area or an ultrasound device to stimulate the tissues.

How often should you see a chiropractor for whiplash?

Your chiropractor will determine the number of visits you need. Generally, you will need more visits for severe whiplash than for subtle injuries. Only a certified chiropractor can determine how often you need whiplash treatment.

A woman is getting a chiropractic neck adjustment to treat whiplash.

How long does it take to recover from whiplash?

The degree of whiplash varies depending on the force and damage, and recovery time depends on the chosen treatment plan and the frequency of treatments. Some patients recover within days; others within months. The essence of chiropractic care is to realign your spine, but it also speeds up the recovery process after a car accident.

How long does whiplash take to heal with chiropractic treatments?

Every whiplash injury is unique. There is no set time for healing. You may heal from whiplash in 6 weeks to 6 months after multiple chiropractic adjustments. Most patients see a resolution after six months, but this does not mean you should stop your visits.

Do I need a medical referral to be seen by a chiropractor for whiplash?

You do not need a referral to visit a chiropractor. Chiropractors are medical practitioners that specialize in spinal problems; therefore, you can book an appointment with them directly.

Does insurance cover chiropractic care for whiplash?

In most cases, medical and auto insurance covers some chiropractic care. However, it is rare to find a coverage plan that foots the entire chiropractic bill. It is best to review your policy or contact your insurer to clarify whether they will cover the charges.


Do you have any questions about how chiropractic care can help treat your back pain? Here are conclusive answers to commonly asked questions. 

A man rests his hand on his lower back, due to back pain. An artists rendition of the spine is on top of the image, showing spinal misalignment that causes back pain.

Questions About Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective solutions for back pain. Do you understand how it works? What will a chiropractor do for low and middle back pain? Here are answers to these and other related questions of chiropractic care for back pain.

Approximately 65 million Americans experience back pain, out of which 16 million (almost 10% of adults) report that the condition is chronic. Despite its frequency, the cause of the pain may be unclear. Doctors’ recommendations may vary and tend to prescribe standard care to eliminate the problem. 

Standard care includes rest, heat, stretching, exercise/physio, and time. Some may suggest going to a chiropractor.

Should I Go to a Chiropractor If I Have Back Pain?

Yes, you should visit a chiropractor if you have back pain, especially when looking for a non-invasive solution. Chiropractors can prescribe spinal manipulation, self-care activities, and therapeutic exercise to relieve the pain and enhance mobility. 

Chiropractic care – like a chiropractic adjustment – relies on the idea that the body can heal itself if you encourage or induce it. These drug-free techniques can also improve the body’s natural healing by realigning muscles and nerves and restoring regular blood flow.

Should I See a Chiropractor for Low Back Pain?

You can see a chiropractor for lower back pain. Low back pain can reduce and disappear without medical intervention if you take some time off from physical activities. Alternatively, you can visit a chiropractor for diagnosis and correction. Some people prefer surgeries and injections, but chiropractic treatment is the best solution.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

An image of the spine is transposed on top of a photograph of a man's back, to show how causes of back pain.

Lower back pain can arise from strains or injuries to the back muscles because of accidents, extreme physical activity, inflammations, or arthritis. They may also result from structural problems, such as disc injuries. Mild lower back pain can disappear if you rest or take a few days off physical activities. If the condition persists, visit a chiropractor.

Here are the top reasons for aching or sore backs:

  • Inflammation – The body’s immune system often responds by causing inflammation around injuries. The swellings can hinder the regular flow of blood, water, and nutrients in the body, triggering discomfort and pain.
  • Muscle or tendon pulls – The overstretching of ligaments and muscles during accidents or physical activities like lifting heavy objects can also cause sore backs. Back pains from tendon or muscle pull often result in spasms and tightness.
  • Poor posture – Excess weight and poor posture, such as continuous bending, can exert extra pressure on your spine, forcing your back muscles to overwork, hence the discomfort.
  • Herniated discs – Accidents and extreme pressure can cause the discs separating your spine’s bony vertebrae to fracture, bulge, or dislocate, resulting in back pains.
  • Arthritis – The chronic inflammation of body joints can cause stiffness and discomfort throughout your body, including the back.

What Will a Chiropractor Do for Middle Back Pain?

Chiropractors can use manual spinal adjustments, hot and cold therapy, and stretching to treat middle back pains. Manual adjustments of musculoskeletal structures restore normal blood, water, and nutrient flow, as well as eliminate extra pressure on nerves and tendons. 

Hot and cold therapy and stretches can enhance circulation and promote faster natural healing.

When Can a Chiropractor Help with Back Pain?

It’s advisable to try chiropractic care for back pain before other techniques like surgeries and injections. Invasive solutions should be a last resort. However, if you wait too long, the pain may become too severe, and surgery may be the only viable solution. Sometimes, physicians can prescribe chiropractic care for faster recovery from surgery.

Do I Need Medical Referrals to See a Chiropractor?

No, you may not require medical referrals to see a chiropractor. Chiropractors are primary health care providers, so you can make a direct appointment without consulting your family physician. However, you should update your doctor after visiting the chiropractor to keep them aware of your health situation.

How Does a Chiropractor Help Back Pain?

Chiropractors offer drug-free, non-invasive relief for back pain through spinal adjustments, manual therapy, or stretches. These techniques realign musculoskeletal structures to restore the regular flow of blood, water, and nutrients, expediting natural healing.

What Does Chiropractic Treatment for Back Pain Involve?

Chiropractic treatments typically involve using controlled, sudden force to manipulate joints, tendons, and other musculoskeletal structures. Several chiropractors often recommend exercise, rest, or nutritional adjustments to fasten healing. Chiropractic treatments are drug-free and non-invasive; they rely on the body’s ability to heal itself.

Do Chiropractic Adjustments Really Work for Back Pain?

Yes, chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulations can relieve back pain. While experts are still researching chiropractic care, the solution is successful. Sometimes, it works even better than traditional methods, such as surgeries and drugs. Most physicians advise patients to try chiropractic adjustments before other invasive back pain solutions.

Can a Chiropractor Make Your Back Worse?

It’s rare for chiropractors to worsen back pains. However, sometimes a chiropractic adjustment may lead to nerve pinches or worsening of disc herniation. Fortunately, these instances are rare, and the chiropractor can correct them with minimal effort.

Do I Become Reliant on Regular Spinal Adjustments?

No. Regular spinal adjustments encourage your body to heal naturally. They are not addictive. While you may sometimes find the feeling that comes after spinal adjustments interesting, this doesn’t mean that your body becomes dependent on the adjustment. You can still function even if you skip your routine sessions.

Can I Delay Spinal Surgery with Chiropractic Treatment?

It’s common for people to seek chiropractic treatment to delay back pain surgeries, and the approach is successful. The chiropractor can reduce the compression in the painful area by realigning the surrounding musculoskeletal structures, helping you strengthen your core muscles. 

This process also reduces inflammations that often cause stiffness and discomfort, eliminating the need for immediate surgery to relieve the pain.

What Kinds of Conditions do Chiropractors Treat?

Chiropractors often focus on spine-related conditions, such as lower back pains, neck pains, middle back pains, and upper back pains. Below is a list of some of the conditions chiropractors typically handle:

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Tension headache
  • Sacroiliac pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Knee pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Disc issues
  • Muscle spasms

How Does Chiropractic Care Treat Back Pain from Sitting?

Chiropractors often use manual adjustments to treat back pains from sitting. This method involves realigning the spine and other musculoskeletal structures around the neck and back that may trigger such pains, relieving pressure from nerves and the vertebrae. 

The chiropractor may also recommend dietary supplements, exercise regimens, or rest to expedite healing.

What Are the Top Causes of Back Pain Injury?

There is a range of issues that cause back pain injuries. They can include injuries from overuse, work, repetitive movements, car accidents, arthritis, poor posture, sports injuries, and many more.

Do I Need a Medical Referral to be Seen by a Chiropractor for Back Pain?

No. Chiropractors fall under the category of a primary health practitioner. Appointments can be directly booked without the need for a referral. 

How Many Chiropractic Sessions Do I Need to Alleviate Back Pain?

A man getting a chiropractic adjustment for back pain.

There’s no standard duration of how long you should see a doctor for back pain relief. The time depends on your pain’s severity and the chiropractor’s approach. Chiropractic care generally takes longer than other methods, but the healing effect is often long-lasting. 

The chiropractor may estimate how long it will take your injuries to heal after assessing your situation, but you should be open to changes.

What Are the Risks of Chiropractic Care for Back Pain?

Chiropractic care is generally safer than other treatment options. It’s non-invasive and doesn’t have side effects of drugs. Manual adjustments may seem precarious, but they’re safe. Ensure the chiropractor has the requisite certifications and understands the practice.

There you have it, 18 questions about chiropractic care for back pain and their answers. Did you find the article helpful? Let us know below.


Chiropractors are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal and nervous system issues. They treat patients of all ages using hands-on, conservative approaches that don’t rely on dangerous medications or unnecessary surgeries.

Visiting a chiropractor for the first time, whether it’s after an accident or before returning to work following an occupational injury, can be stressful. New patients often have a lot of questions, and getting answers in advance can help to assuage their concerns. They can read on to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Vancouver chiropractic services.

What Conditions Are Treated by Chiropractors?

Chiropractors treat a wide variety of nervous system and musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. The most common problems that bring patients to chiropractors for the first time include whiplash and other accident injuries, neck pain, back pain, and chronic headaches.

What Kinds of Treatments do Chiropractors Offer?

Every patient is different, and no two treatment plans are the same. However, most chiropractic treatment plans consist of some combination of therapeutic soft tissue massage, spinal manipulations, physical therapy, nutrition counseling, and adjunctive therapies like acupuncture and electrical stimulation.

Is Chiropractic Treatment Safe?

Chiropractic care has an excellent safety record. Though no type of health treatment is completely free of risks, those associated with chiropractic care are very small in comparison to the risks of more invasive or dangerous options like surgery and pharmaceutical interventions.

Is Chiropractic Care Covered by Insurance?

Most private health insurance plans cover chiropractic care, as do workers’ compensation benefits. Federal employees, active-duty military members, and veterans can all use their medical benefits to pay for chiropractic care, as well.

Are Chiropractors Real Doctors?

Chiropractors, like all doctors, undergo extensive medical training. In fact, the educational requirements for this specialized field are among the most stringent. Typical doctors of chiropractic care are educated as primary contact providers, completing pre-medical undergraduate courses and more advanced courses in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions before they see a single patient.

Final Thoughts

Getting started with Vancouver chiropractic services is easier than most people think. In most cases, no referral is required, and many practices have administrative support professionals on their staff to help new patients fill out paperwork. All it takes to start receiving specialized care is reaching out to a qualified chiropractor to schedule an initial consultation.

Whiplash injuries occur when the head is violently moved forward and back. Though this type of injury can happen outside of a car accident, those accidents are the most common cause. Individuals need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident. With whiplash treatment Salem, individuals can begin to feel true relief from their pain and regain their normal range of motion.

Symptoms Caused By Whiplash

Whiplash is a serious neck injury that should not be taken lightly. It is important individuals know the signs to look for so they can seek whiplash treatment Salem. The following are some of the most common symptoms people experience.

  • Everyone who suffers from a whiplash injury experiences some degree of pain. Some people only have mild discomfort while others may experience debilitating pain.
  • Neck stiffness is common with a whiplash injury. The neck becomes very stiff due to the trauma of the soft tissues.
  • Many individuals suffer from dizziness when they have a whiplash injury. The dizziness can prevent a person from being able to function normally.
  • Sometimes, people deal with a lot of nausea when they have experienced a severe neck injury. The injury can cause balance problems in the inner ear.

When a person experiences any type of neck injury, it is imperative they seek immediate medical attention to determine the cause. Whiplash injuries need to be addressed by a chiropractor because these doctors offer non-invasive treatments that can help a person to reduce their dependency on pain medications.

How Will a Chiropractor Help a Whiplash Injury?

When a whiplash injury is in the acute stages, the chiropractor will need to proceed with caution. Once the condition is brought under more control, the chiropractor will begin to use spinal manipulation to move the vertebrae back into the proper position so they are no longer pressing on the nerves and soft tissues. Chiropractic treatment is often an ongoing process that eventually moves to maintenance mode.

If you have suffered a whiplash injury, it is important to call and schedule a chiropractic exam right away. With treatment, you can overcome the pain quickly.

Chiropractor | Whiplash | Car Accident |
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