What to Do If You’re Experiencing Lower Back Pain After a Car Accident

After a car accident, you should have your injury diagnosed, begin treatment, and stick to the recommended treatment plan if you’re experiencing lower back pain. You could be dealing with many types of injuries, although back injuries are especially common.

Because chiropractors focus on helping injured victims recover through manipulation of the spine and joints, back pain treatment is a common focus of these medical professionals.

When you would like to discuss a treatment plan for your back injury and pain after the motor vehicle accident, reach out to the team at Naples Community Injury Center (NCIC) by calling us today.

You May Want to Begin Chiropractic Treatment After a Car Accident

Woman Patient Visits a Doctor to Check Her Lower Back Pain

Chiropractors often treat victims of car crashes, whether they have immediate or delayed lower back pain after the accident. Injuries that manifest as back pain are among the most common injuries in a car accident, so chiropractors have extensive experience with how to treat lower back pain after a car accident.

Injuries That May Lead to Back Pain

Some of the common injuries that could lead to back pain include:

  • Joint sprains, which occur when you tear or stretch a ligament around one of your joints.
  • Muscle strains, or pulled muscles, happen when the tissues or muscles that connect to your bones are injured.
  • Whiplash, which is a soft tissue injury that happens when your neck forcefully moves back and forth.
  • Fractured vertebrae in the spine, which is when one of your spinal bones, or vertebrae, sustain trauma and break because of dislocation, compression, or another type of impact.
  • Slipped or herniated discs in the spine, which happen when the center of your spinal disc pushes through a crack in the exterior casing of the disc.
  • Nerve damage, which occurs when one or more of your nerves are compressed.

Additionally, injuries like broken bones or facial trauma from hitting the airbag could eventually manifest as back pain. The force against the body that causes these types of injuries in a car crash may strain muscles and joints near the spine, but the pain in these areas may not show up immediately.

Working With a Chiropractor for the First Time

If you’ve never visited a chiropractor previously, you may be wondering what’s involved with a chiropractic appointment. Your chiropractor will generally:

  • Ask for some background information: The chiropractor will ask about your back pain and the circumstances related to the car accident, which helps with diagnosing the precise injury.
  • Conduct a physical exam: The chiropractor will examine your body for bruises and swelling and may ask you to do some range of motion tests to figure out your limitations.
  • Request imaging: You may have X-rays taken at the chiropractor’s office to determine the severity of your injuries. The doctor may order an MRI test as well.
  • Review your medical records: If you received treatment from other doctors for this injury, your chiropractor will take the time to review those records.
  • Recommend a treatment plan: The chiropractor then will recommend a treatment plan for you to follow. This may involve additional office visits for spinal manipulation and therapy to help with back pain injuries ranging from a herniated disc to a strained back and everything in between.

Back Injury Symptoms That Can Be Treated With Chiropractic Care or Physiotherapy

While lower back pain is a common symptom of a back injury, there are many other types of symptoms you may experience after a car accident. Your chiropractor can recommend spinal manipulations and physical therapy exercises to help overcome the following symptoms:

  • Shooting, burning, or stabbing sensations
  • Pain or tenderness to the touch
  • Muscle spasms
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Pain that radiates down your arms and legs
  • Difficulty walking
  • Limited range of motion

Accident victims should keep track of their symptoms in a journal or through photographs, if possible. Your chiropractor will want to know when your symptoms started and how they are progressing. This can help them target the exact location of your injury and recommend treatments to help you feel better.

Therapies Your Chiropractor May Use to Treat Your Back Pain

Your chiropractor may recommend a few different techniques to try to help with your back pain and to help you recover from your injuries:

  • Spinal manipulation: The chiropractor may have you lay on a table or sit in a chair while moving the joints in your spine, neck, and hips, attempting to place the spine back into alignment.
  • Massage therapy: If the chiropractor believes tight muscles or a reduced range of motion is causing your back pain, you may receive a massage on muscles near the spine and neck.
  • Electrical stimulation: Through the use of electrodes, the chiropractor sends pulses to different areas of your body that help with muscle relaxation and pain management.
  • Exercises: If the chiropractor believes that you need therapy and rehabilitation to help with your back pain, the doctor may help you with range of motion exercises.

Other Treatment Options for Back Pain After a Crash

Man with Back Problems

According to MedlinePlus, patients should seek treatment for their general back pain when it’s severe or when it’s not improving after a few days. Of course, if the back pain relates to a type of trauma or to a specific injury, the team at NCIC would recommend seeing one of our chiropractors as soon as possible.

Beyond receiving spinal manipulation and other treatments that our chiropractors may recommend, here are some basic treatments you can try at home:

Ice and Heat

Ice packs help to reduce swelling, which in turn can cause a reduction in your level of back pain. In some cases, alternating between heat and ice can improve the level of pain you are feeling.

Stretching Exercises

If you are struggling with the range of motion in your back after the car crash, performing stretching exercises at home can help you between visits to the chiropractor.

Just be certain to follow the instructions from the doctor as to how aggressively you should do the stretches and how often you should do them. Overdoing the stretching could cause additional injuries and additional pain.


Although chiropractors do not prescribe medication, you may want to take some over-the-counter pain medicine to help when you are feeling especially uncomfortable from the back pain.

Don’t overdo the pain medication, though. If you are masking your back pain with medication, you may end up doing more activity than you should, causing a more severe injury that will take longer to heal.


Some people respond well to whirlpool baths or saunas to help with back pain between visits to the chiropractor.


It can be tough to get comfortable and sleep when you have back pain from a car crash. However, rest is one of the best treatments for any kind of injury or pain, as it gives your body time to heal.

What You Should Do Right After Your Car Accident to Prevent Your Injury From Getting Worse

The scene of a car accident is often chaotic, with injured accident victims, witnesses, and police attempting to clear the scene. If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident, you may not know what to do next. Some of the steps you may want to take include:

  • Seeking medical care right away. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the worse your condition may become. If you visit a doctor immediately, they can diagnose you and recommend a treatment plan.
  • Following the recommended treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be looking at an extended recovery time. However, don’t let this discourage you from continuing treatment. If you skip out on any part of your care, you may be more susceptible to re-injury.
  • Take note of all occurrences at the accident scene. Not only can these details help your doctor understand your injuries, but they can also help you pursue a personal injury lawsuit if you decide to take legal action. Your chiropractor and medical team can help your attorney build a case for compensation. You may recover a settlement for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and damage to your vehicle.
  • Make an appointment with a chiropractor or physical therapist. They will assess your vehicle collision lower back pain and provide treatment methods that can improve your daily life.

Call NCIC for Help With Your Back Pain From the Car Accident

If you’re experiencing lower back pain after a car accident, consult with one of our team members at Naples Community Injury Center. We know how to diagnose symptoms of a spinal injury, including the back pain that often accompanies this common type of car crash injury.

To discuss ways we can attempt to help you manage your pain and recover from your injuries without using drugs, call NCIC today.