Are You Experiencing Upper Back Pain after a Car Accident? Here’s Why You Should See a Chiropractor for Auto Injury

Are You Experiencing Upper Back Pain after a Car Accident? Here’s Why You Should See a Chiropractor for Auto Injury

It’s seconds after you had an auto accident. You’re dazed but conscious. Because you didn’t see it coming, it takes a while to get your mind to catch up with what just happened. You flex your fingers, arms, and legs, and move your neck and back a little. Stepping out of your car, you take a few steps. You think you might be okay. 

As the excitement and frenzy of the accident’s immediate aftermath fade over the next several days, you begin to feel pain in your upper back. The force of the auto accident jolted your spine and the tissues around it, causing what is commonly known as whiplash, soft tissue tears, and possibly more. 

Even minor accidents can cause injuries that require treatment. Once you can leave the accident scene, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from long-term pain is to make an appointment to see a chiropractor for auto injury evaluation and treatment. 

Here at Kaizo Health, in addition to patients coming to us directly, many family doctors, personal injury attorneys, and even hospitals refer to us to treat auto injuries and encourage patients to seek the care of a chiropractor. Your upper back pain after a car accident may indicate an injury from mild to severe and it is hard to know unless you see a chiropractor. A chiropractor’s auto injury treatment regimen addresses the root cause of pain right away, substantially reducing pain and promoting faster, more complete healing. 

3 Causes of Upper Back Pain after a Car Accident

Your upper back runs between the bottom of the ribcage and the top of the shoulders. It’s called the thoracic spine and includes twelve vertebrae that support the ribcage and help protect the thorax, i.e., the area containing your heart and lungs. 

When you’re in an accident, the sudden impact causes your head and neck to fling from front to back, stretching beyond your neck’s normal range of motion. This whiplash throws your musculoskeletal system out of alignment, resulting in injury to your bones, discs, soft tissues, and nerves. Pain can radiate from your neck down to your upper back. Here are a few things that can cause your upper back pain.

#1: Sprains and Strains

According to a National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, about 50 percent of auto accident injuries treated in emergency rooms included neck and back sprains and strains. 

#2: Disc Injury

Spinal discs are flat, rubbery pads located between the vertebrae. They are the shock absorbers of the spine. Each disc has a hard outer layer (annulus) with a substance inside (nucleus). Upper back pain might originate from one or more discs becoming herniated, which is where the disc cracks and forces the inner substance out. A herniated disc in the upper back can cause intense pain, numbness, or weakness.

#3: Fractures

Fractures of the vertebrae are especially painful and dangerous and can result in long-term or permanent damage. For example, an auto accident that results in trauma to the spine may cause a compression fracture. This can cause a great deal of pain, nerve damage, and numbness in your arms, legs, and back.

Back pain. Women with back pain, isolated on a white background.

Upper Back Pain Symptoms from an Auto Injury and How and Evidence-Based Chiro Gets to the Bottom of It All

Upper back pain after a car accident can encompass a wide array of symptoms. The pain you experience may range from mild to severe and affect your upper back, abdominal muscles, arms, and legs. Typical symptoms may include:

  • Throbbing pain
  • Sharp pain, like a knife stab
  • Radiating pain (from the thoracic spine to arms, chest, and possibly further)
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness

Think of the pain and sensation you’ve been feeling since your accident. Do these symptoms sound familiar? An evidence-based chiropractor uses data assessments to get to the root cause of your symptoms, and instead of simply giving you pain medication, a good chiropractor will actually help you solve for the root cause of this pain, helping you get back to feeling better quickly. Never settle for making pain a normal part of your life. It shouldn’t be. You can find hope and healing with the proper care.

Hidden Injuries

After an auto accident, the trauma, adrenaline, and emotions can mask your pain for hours or days. The injury is already there, but you don’t feel it for a while. As a result, you may be misled to believe you’ve escaped serious harm and don’t need treatment. Please don’t make that dangerous mistake!

Real injuries often make themselves known gradually, as the pain slowly increases and you find yourself experiencing some of the symptoms listed above. We encourage you to seek chiropractic treatment as soon as possible, even if you don’t immediately feel pain. Untreated injuries result in years of chronic pain that will eventually affect your overall health. The Kaizo Health team of chiropractors will help you prevent that possibility.

Oh, and did we tell you that we have a completely free online virtual assessment tool to help you get started? You can check it out here.

Upper Back Pain Treatment 

Our Stance on Medication and Holistic Healing

While there may be a time and place for pain medication, some pain medications may lead to drug dependency or addictions. Chiropractors treating auto injuries, like our own team at Kaizo Health, focus on drug-free and holistic treatments. 

Our Standard Prescribed Chiropractor’s Auto Injury Treatment Plan

We address injuries of the spine and surrounding tissues that family medical practices or ERs often overlook or mask with medication.  

After a car accident, chiropractic adjustments and other techniques significantly reduce upper back pain by realigning the spine and restoring your full range of motion. At Kaizo Health, for example, an auto injury chiropractor may use such techniques as:

  • Manual Therapy
  • Joint rehabilitation and mobilization
  • Rehabilitation exercises
  • Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization
  • Electronic stimulation

Aside from treating specific injuries, studies show that spinal manipulations also have natural anti-inflammatory effects that can benefit your entire body. Treatments improve range of motion and speed the healing process. This is what we are here to do for you.


A chiropractor treating your auto injury, such as upper back pain, substantially enhances and accelerates your recovery. Our goal is to protect and improve your quality of life. 

At Kaizo Health, our world-class team of chiropractors in Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; Fort Washington, MD; and Fairfax, VA, practices an evidence-based approach combining chiropractic care and physical therapy rehabilitation. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health and strength as best-in-class auto injury chiropractors. If you are suffering pain from a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact us here. We are here to help! In the meantime, make sure that you check out our blog for more information on the chiropractic field, as well as our free virtual self-assessment chiropractic web app here.

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