Car Accident Chiropractor in Fountain Valley

auto injuries are commonly helped by seeing a chiropractor

Many people will seek out chiropractic care in Fountain Valley after having an auto injury.  A common auto injury, whiplash, occurs when the head and neck are whipped from back to front, similar to how a whip is cracked. The majority of car accidents are rear-end collisions with whiplash being a common result. Whiplash can also occur from other kinds of trauma, accidents, abuse, and falls.

Many people in Fountain Valley who have been involved in an accident don't even realize they have received a whiplash injury until weeks or months later when the problem becomes persistent and leads to other issues. If your neck has been injured in an accident or other incident, this article will you to understand if you have a whiplash injury and how chiropractic care can help you to treat it.

An unfortunate product of living in Southern California is the crowding of our streets and highways that result in car accidents. We typically have several patients at any one time that are recovering from an auto accident. While many accidents seem like “fender-benders”, the reality is even the light impact accidents can cause spinal injury that you may be forced to deal with later if not taken care of now.

Insurance Companies and Car Injuries
Insurance companies will have you believe that if you’re car is not damaged to a great deal, then you can’t be hurt. However, laws of physics and various studies don’t support that. If you’ve ever seen a commercial with crash test dummies, the slow-motion of the impact shows why muscle and ligamentous tissues get torn as the head and spine are slung back and forth. (See our page titled “Whiplash”.) The reality is, in our Fountain Valley office, we see many patients who have sustained car accident injuries in the past but did not have the opportunity to get treatment to allow them to heal properly. Fast forward 10,15 or 20 years and there is usually spinal degeneration and back or neck pain that has been getting progressively worse.

The safest thing to do if you’ve been in an accident is to have your spine checked to see if you’ve sustained any vertebral misalignments (subluxations) that affect the nerve flow between the brain and the body. Your neck and back will begin to heal right after the accident but it is important to be sure that you heal with the correct spinal alignment, with the normal range of motion and that the muscles have their normal length and elasticity.

We recommend a Chiropractic exam with x-rays to assess spinal health. If you appear to have spinal subluxations (misalignments) we will advise you on a course of care that best suits you.

Whiplash in Fountain Valley

When the neck is whipped from back to front during a car accident, while playing contact sports such as football, or occasionally from an assault or other physical trauma, a number of things can happen to the spine and surrounding soft tissue. Whiplash describes the initial impact, but the results can include:

  • Disc bulges and herniation
  • Subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae in the spine),
  • Injured bones in the spine,
  • Irritated and damaged nerves
  • Pulled ligaments and muscles in the neck

What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Whiplash injuries can range from mild to very severe. Injuries tend to be more significant when your headrest is positioned too low. If the impact was quite severe or the headrest was low there is the possibility that bones are broken or tissue is damaged. It is highly recommended that you see a chiropractor and receive a thorough examination and x-rays. Even if the impact seemed mild, you may have whiplash if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder, upper back, and arm pain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain when turning the head
  • Inability to move or turn the head fully
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, and fingers
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression

As you can see there are a wide range of symptoms and not all of them may be immediately traceable to whiplash. Even if you have been cleared by a doctor, your pain could still be related to whiplash and you may need treatment to correct the problem. If you have recently been injured it's important to get your spine checked as soon as possible. The sooner that you start treating the issue the less chance you have of it developing into a long-term problem.

Chiropractic Care for Car accidents

Because the majority of whiplash incidents impact the spine and the surrounding nerves and tissues, chiropractic care is an excellent avenue for treatment. Chiropractic doctors are skilled in assessing the source of the pain associated with a whiplash injury and determining a plan for effective treatment. Chiropractic treatments are gentle and non-invasive. Through small adjustments, people find great relief from the pain associated with whiplash and are set on a road to full recovery. Call our team at Stark Family Chiropractic to discover how chiropractic care can help you recover from whiplash.

Many patients who arrive at our Fountain Valley office with whiplash have an injury that is usually associated with an auto accident and results from the forced flexing the head and neck forward and backward against muscle and ligament resistance. This results in strain of the muscles and often sprain injuries to the ligaments followed by neck pain of the posterior and/or anterior neck muscles aka "whiplash." A whiplash injury can also include pain into the upper back and shoulders, dizziness, nausea, headaches, pain or tingling into the arms, energy loss, the head feeling heavy and even blurry vision.

Many of us have experienced at least a minor whiplash whether it was due to a car accident or other injuries like during sports, horseback riding or falls. When our bodies experience an injury to tissue it goes about repairing the damaged tissue and repairs the muscles and ligaments with scar tissue that is woven into the previous muscles or ligaments. In our patients we often see the results on x-rays of past whiplash injuries that healed improperly or in poor alignment. The body has great ability to adapt. After a whiplash injury the damaged or torn tissue will heal one way or another and most times these injuries heal improperly without the proper care. With a new whiplash injury, our attempt is get the spine to heal in the proper alignment with normal length and elasticity of the muscles so there is no permanent damage. In treating old whiplash injuries (longer than a year and up to 20 years or more) it takes time to allow the muscles and ligaments that healed shortened or improperly to stretch and adapt to a new alignment. While this usually takes longer, almost everyone notices some improvement if not full recovery when the healing powers of the body are turned on and the body is given time to repair.

Treatment for whiplash injuries includes one or more of the following: specific chiropractic spinal adjustments, neuromuscular re-educations, ice, heat, massage, instruction on stretching/strengthening exercises and home care recommendations.


9:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm

9:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 7:00pm

By Appointment Only


Stark Family Chiropractic
17922 Magnolia Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 887-7009