How to Tell When a Car Accident Injury Warrants Treatment

It can be difficult to tell if a sore back or stiff neck is a simple muscle strain or a more serious injury. If you were recently in a car accident and you notice any discomfort whatsoever, you should seek a medical evaluation at Spine Correction Center to find out how severe your injury is. Here are the symptoms of car accident injuries to watch out for.


This is a common neck injury that occurs in rear-end collisions. The sudden, unexpected impact from the car behind you whips your head forward and backward, damaging neck muscles and ligaments in the process. Whiplash symptoms usually appear within 24 hours of the accident. You may experience:

  • Pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders
  • Visual disturbances, including blurred vision
  • Headaches stemming at the base of the skull
  • Fatigue
  • Dizzy spells
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability


As you can imagine, spinal cord damage of any kind can cause nerve damage. Traumatic spondylolisthesis is when a vertebra, usually in the lumbar spine, shifts out of place due to a stress fracture in the bone. This presses on the nerves or may even narrow your spinal canal. Traumatic spondylolisthesis can occur in a car accident if your spine develops forward momentum above the level of your seat belt. Therefore, a high-speed collision while wearing a lap belt is the most common scenario for this injury to occur. Symptoms include:

  • Back pain
  • Numbness
  • Weakness in the leg or buttock
  • Difficulty walking

Some people experience no symptoms of mild spondylolisthesis, or symptoms may take years to develop.

Disc Herniation

A herniated disc is when the soft tissues in the center of a spinal disc push through a small tear in the disc’s tougher exterior casing, pinching the surrounding nerves. This injury can occur in a car accident as the spine experiences trauma and the discs attempt to absorb the impact. Signs of disc herniation include:

  • Back pain
  • Arm or leg pain
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Weakness in the affected area of the spine

Not all herniated discs require intervention. If you experience no symptoms, there may not be a reason to pursue treatment.


As mentioned above, whiplash can cause headaches, but it’s also possible to experience post-traumatic headaches without an accompanying whiplash diagnosis. After all, it’s no surprise that banging your head on the dashboard, steering wheel, or window could result in a headache, even if you weren’t rear-ended.

While it’s most likely that inflamed and irritated neck muscles are the underlying cause, it’s also possible for car accident headaches to indicate a concussion, subdural hematoma, or another brain injury. If so, immediate treatment at the hospital may be necessary to treat these potentially life-threatening conditions.

Treat Your Car Accident Injury at Spine Correction Center

We offer various natural, non-invasive treatments for car accident injuries. Visit our office in Fort Collins for a medical evaluation. We’ll rule out the possibility of broken bones and fractures (or send you to the hospital if you have such serious injuries).

Then, we’ll begin the best treatment available for your situation. We offer chiropractic care to treat whiplash and headaches, and spinal decompression to treat spondylolisthesis and herniated discs, along with other integrated, non-invasive treatments.

Let us help you recover from your car accident injury so you can return to a pain-free way of life! To get started, please contact Spine Correction Center online or call (970) 658-5115 to schedule a free consultation. We’re always upfront about our prices and will file insurance claims on your behalf so you know what your out-of-pocket costs will be.