Car Accident / Whiplash
Pain Treatment

Dr. Phil McCary DC and Dr. Danielle McCary DC Doctor of Chiropractic in Portland OR

Whiplash treatment in Portland, OR

Auto accidents in Portland, OR are the most common cause of trauma to bones, muscles, and joints. Car accidents can lead to whiplash injuries. Whiplash injury is a neck injury that occurs during an auto accident when a person’s head is suddenly jerked backward and forward with great force. This causes the soft tissues of the neck to extend beyond their normal range of motion. This type of injury is usually not life-threatening but can cause long-term pain, discomfort, and partial disability.

If you are experiencing whiplash injury in Portland, do not worry, we’ll walk you through all that is there to know about whiplash injury.

If you’re in pain following an automobile accident, consult a chiropractor in Portland to make sure your body is on the right path to healing. Dr. Phil McCary at Laurelhurst Chiropractic offers years of experience in therapies to stimulate full-body healing and long-term wellness following the trauma of an accident. If you have pain, stiffness, or other injury symptoms following a car wreck, call the office or use the online booking agent to schedule an appointment and receive treatment today.

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It is not uncommon for the symptoms of whiplash injury to have a delayed onset after an auto accident. Someone with a whiplash injury experiences the following symptoms:

  • Neck pain, stiffness.
  • Increased pain during movement of the neck.
  • Restricted motion.
  • Headaches originating from the base of the skull.
  • Mild to moderate pain in the shoulder, upper back, or arms.
  • Numbness in the arms.


Some uncommon symptoms include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Back pain.
  • Weakness in forearms.
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Irritability, Difficulty concentrating, Memory problems.
  • Anxiety and Depression.
  • Difficulty in sleeping.


Whiplash injuries are most commonly seen in car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. Since the seat pushes the person’s body forwards, the head and neck snap backward and then forward suddenly. This causes a strain/sprain on the cervical spine soft tissues.

Some other causes behind whiplash injury can be:

  • Physical abuse or assault. When someone is punched or shaken forcibly, it is observed in shaken baby syndrome too.
  • Contact sports. When football and other sports-related collisions occur, it may result in whiplash injury.

Whiplash affects as many as three million Americans yearly. Most whiplash results from automobile accidents, but falls, sports injuries, and physical altercations can also be to blame. If you suspect you have the neck pain and stiffness of whiplash, consult experienced chiropractor Dr. Phil McCary at Laurelhurst Chiropractic in Portland, Oregon. He examines the extent of your injury and provides appropriate, noninvasive, and drug-free care. Call the office or use the online booking agent today to start your road to recover from neck pain.


Even though whiplash injury subsides by itself, there may be some long-term effects.

  • Severe neck pain.
  • Restricted range of motion.
  • Pain that spreads to the arms.

The following risk factors have been linked to a worse outcome in Whiplash injuries.

  • Previous history of whiplash 
  • Older age
  • Pre-existing low back or neck pain
  • A high-speed collision or injury (example-in road traffic accidents)

You should seek immediate medical attention if the numbness and weakness spread to your arms and shoulders, and you feel pain while moving your head.


Medications: Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Aspirin, along with muscle relaxants to relieve muscle spasms.

Self-care: Treatment of whiplash injury has limited self-care. Application of  Ice packs or heat to the affected area may ease some symptoms. Physical exercise plays an important role for a speedy recovery; hence it must be carried out to strengthen the neck and bring back flexibility. It is essential to practice good posture to reduce the strain on the neck.


  • Chiropractic treatment techniques have shown significant improvement for alleviating the symptoms. Procedures like stretching, physiotherapy, and massage help relieve the muscle strain and release the spasms. These therapies have been known to help in early mobilization. Our goal is to return to a pre-injury normal lifestyle.


Some medical insurance packages cover auto accident injury/whiplash in Portland, OR, mostly diagnostic and aftercare costs. Talk to your doctor or health insurance provider about this.

How Laurelhurst Chiropractic Can help in Whiplash / Auto accident treatment due to carpal tunnel in Portland, OR

Laurelhurst Chiropractic is the top chiropractic clinic in Portland for Whiplash / Auto accident treatments. Dr. Phil McCary and Dr. Danielle McCary are highly rated chiropractors in Portland and specializes in Whiplash / Auto accident treatments. They have been practicing for over 10 years in Portland. 

Laurelhurst Chiropractic serves the following cities:

  • Oregon City
  • Lake Oswego
  • West Linn
  • Beaverton
  • Clackamas
  • Tigard
  • Tualatin
  • Milwaukie

Call us today if you are experiencing pain due to Whiplash / Auto accident in Portland.


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Request an appointment online by calling us on (503) 234-4288

You can also use the online booking tool below

How do we treat Auto Accident injuries?


What is whiplash?

Whiplash refers to a collection of injuries and symptoms that occur when your neck is strained beyond its capacity. The injuries occur when the head is whipped back and forth at a high speed. The movement happens so suddenly and violently that your body cannot react naturally to protect you. Whiplash is most often associated with auto accidents during which a vehicle comes to a sudden halt and the momentum of the stop throws your head around.

The sharp rapid upward motion of the head hyperextends the neck, while the equally forceful downward movement hyperflexes it. Your delicate cervical spine simply can’t withstand these forces, so the vertebrae get thrown out of their proper alignment. These misaligned vertebrae then bulge and cause pressure on cervical nerve roots, while muscles and connective tissues end up stretched or torn.

Soreness, pain, or loss of mobility in your neck may be symptoms of whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your head and neck snap back and forth rapidly upon impact. Studies have shown that even collisions that happen at a slow speeds can cause whiplash and the associated pain. These rapid, uncontrolled forced on your neck can create injuries to the joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves. Dr. McCary will asses what tissues are injured with a comprehensive examination and then treat them to help with your whiplash symptoms.

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

Whiplash symptoms may appear right away or take a few days to appear. These include:

  • Neck pain and immobility.
  • Jaw pain, headaches, and migraines.
  • Shoulder and upper back pain.
  • Blurred vision and ringing in the ears.
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands and arms.
  • Mental confusion, mood disorders, and memory loss.

Do Portland chiropractors treat whiplash?

Chiropractors are trained and licensed medical professionals who relieve pain and spasm in the spine and other areas by manipulating the spinal joints and extremity joints. Chiropractic therapies have been beneficial in treating whiplash injuries in Portland.

How long does it take for neck whiplash to heal?

The recovery time can range from weeks to months. In most cases, a person recovers fully within three months.

What is the best treatment for whiplash injury?

Treatment of whiplash injury is generally simple and involves self-care. Applying Ice packs or heat to the injured area may relieve some symptoms. Physical exercise plays an important role in a speedy recovery. Additionally, Chiropractic procedures like joint mobilization, stretching,  exercise therapy, and massage help reduce the muscle strain and release the spasms.

Can you heal from whiplash?

Whiplash injury can heal within a few weeks with reasonable care and physical therapy. Applying ice/heat packs and taking pain medications also helps. Chiropractors employ stretching, physiotherapy, and massages to relieve the strain and relieve the muscle spasms for a speedy recovery.

What is the fastest way to recover from whiplash?

You can recover from whiplash injury in a few weeks to months, with reasonable care and chiropractic manipulative therapy. Chiropractors employ stretching, exercise therapy, and massages to relieve the strain and relieve the muscle spasms for a speedy recovery.

How can I speed up my whiplash recovery?

You can recover from a whiplash injury with reasonable care and physical exercise. Chiropractors employ stretching, exercise therapy, and massages to relieve the strain and relieve the muscle spasms for a speedy recovery.

What are the side effects of a car accident?

Car accidents usually lead to trauma to the head and neck, leading to various injuries involving the maxillofacial areas. Whiplash injury is the commonest of all injuries following a car accident.  Headaches, back pain, shoulder and arm pain, dizziness, and jaw pain are also seen after car accidents.

How long are you sore after a car accident?

Initial localized swelling usually subsides within a week. After the initial swelling subsides, the body begins the repair process with scar tissue formation. Scar tissue has many more pain receptors leaving the injured areas much more sensitive to pain. This soreness may last for weeks to years depending upon the degree of injury and also the quality of care provided. Early treatment is helpful in moving through the soreness.

Is it normal to throw up after a car accident?

Though nausea and vomiting may be commonly experienced after car accidents due to trauma or shock, these could be signs of underlying serious brain injury, whiplash injury, internal organ damage, etc.

How long does it take to recover from soft tissue injury?

In the case of soft tissue injuries, it takes six to eight weeks for the body to generate scar tissue and one to years for the scar tissue to remodel into functional soft tissues. Early treatment is critical for a positive long term outcome after a whiplash injury.

Can you get a concussion from a minor car accident?

Yes. The driver or passengers can get a concussion, which is very common in traffic accidents. It is generally considered a minor brain injury but maybe a sign of underlying severe damage.

Can you sue for emotional distress from a car accident?

You may be able to recover damages due to emotional pain and suffering following a car accident.

What are the less frequent symptoms that include but are not limited to whiplash/auto car accident injury?

There may be dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headaches, backaches, abdominal swelling, joint pains, emotional distress, PTSD, etc., following auto accidents other than whiplash injury.

What are the long term problems that can happen due to ignoring whiplash?

Even though whiplash injury symptoms often subside with time, there may be some long-term effects like severe neck pain, restricted range of motion of the neck, degenerative arthritis, and pain spreading to the arms, limiting activity.

How does a chiropractor treat whiplash?

If you’ve experienced an auto accident or other whiplash-causing incidents, consult with Dr. McCary right away. He takes note of the details of the accident/incident, considers your symptoms, and examines your cervical spine.

Once he identifies the sources of your pain, he develops a custom treatment plan to help alleviate your symptoms and heal your whiplash. He uses gentle spinal adjustments to restore the normal alignment of the cervical vertebrae. This allows your joints to function correctly and helps relieve nerve compression.

He may also recommend you take advantage of the other soft-tissue therapies, including massage, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, and Kinesio taping to alleviate your whiplash pain. By incorporating multiple healing modalities into your program, you can heal and feel better faster — without the administration of potentially risky and debilitating drug therapies.

Most cases of whiplash heal in just a few days when you receive the right care, but severe cases may take several weeks, or even months, to resolve.

What injuries can a chiropractor treat following a car accident?

A car accident prompts a number of acute injuries that, if untreated, can lead to long-term pain and dysfunction. As a result of the impact of an automobile accident, you may experience:

  • Whiplash
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain

If you have minor bruising, swelling, or stiffness, it indicates you need to seek treatment. Some symptoms can take a day or two to manifest. If you have pain, you should still consult Dr. McCary even if some time has passed since the event.

How can car accidents cause headaches?

Headaches can be caused from multiple types of injuries during an accident. You do not need to have direct head trauma during your accident to experience a headache. The forces from the accident can cause muscle damage, injury, or swelling to the joints, stretching on the ligaments, which can cause headaches.  Dr. McCary can asses what tissues have been injured and play a role in your headache pain, and then treat them effectively with multiple modalities.

How can chiropractic care resolve neck and back pain resulting from an auto accident?

The impact of a collision can cause trauma along your spine, leading to neck and back pain. If a spinal disc slips out of place during the force of your collision, you may suffer back pain, posture problems, and chronic soreness and tension as a result. Sore and inflamed tissue in the spine causes extra friction and pain.

Chiropractic adjustments and soft-tissue therapy help restore proper alignment of your vertebrae so pain resolves. They also help resolve associated nerve and muscle pain.

What types of chiropractic therapies should I expect following a car accident?

The staff at Laurelhurst Chiropractic is committed to finding treatments that are best for your injury and your body. At our clinic we have multiple different treatments that maybe used based on your examination and response to care. At our clinic we have the following treatment modalities;

  • Chiropractic manipulation.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Low-level light laser therapy.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Electrical stimulation therapy.
  • Traction therapy
  • Rehabilitation therapy.
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