Do Auto Accidents Cause Permanent Injuries?

Chiropractor Showing Patient Spine

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Frequently patients will say that they had an auto accident at some time in the past and that it caused all of their current complaints. They will say this even if they only have the pain every couple of years and the rest of the time, they are active and pain free. They will believe it to be true even thought their x-rays do not show any degenerative changes from the accident. They are convinced that it is true because some doctor told them in the past that they are permanently impaired from the accident, even if it was minor.

These people will limit their activities and exercises because they have been told something that usually isn’t true.

While some accidents cause permanent injuries, they are the exception instead of the rule. Most auto accidents only cause minor discomfort or no pain at all. If the pain resolves in 2-3 days while using ice and OTC medication, you are fine.

If the pain persists after 72 hours, it is best to be examined by a doctor that treats musculoskeletal injuries on a daily basis. In my 33 years of being a doctor of chiropractic (DC), I have found that chiropractors are best suited to diagnose what is wrong with you and to determine what is the best treatment. Most general practice MD’s do not treat muscular pain regularly and therefore typically only prescribe medication for pain, inflammation and muscle spasms. Orthopedic and neurosurgeons are looking for problems to operate on. Most problems will resolve with chiropractic care and physical therapy. If the problem is surgical in nature the chiropractor will make the appropriate referral to a surgeon.

In addition, it is also important what treatment is performed. Some patients will only go to a physical therapist who only treats the muscular complaint and does not check to see if the patient has any joint misalignments. This is similar to having your car hit a curb and not realigning the tire. Eventually it will wear unevenly. The chiropractor can gently adjust the bone back to where it should be. 

In my 33 years of being a chiropractor, I have found that most people who have pain as a result of an accident can be pain free in 2 – 8 weeks of therapy. It is important that you do the proper treatment, therapy, and exercises in the correct order. The patient is then shown home-based exercises and stretches to maintain their gains. This is similar to a dentist fixing your teeth and then showing you the correct way to brush and floss. 

Treat your injuries correctly after an accident and you will be able to live your life fully without fear of future problems.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!