What you need to know if you have been in a car accident


Acupuncture should be part of your first line of treatment after you have been injured because you will heal faster. Read more below on how to heal faster with acupuncture.

Acupuncture for balancing sleep cycles

What You Need to Know if You’re in a Car Accident

Car accidents can be very traumatic and stressful for those involved. Not only are they unexpected but they may also cause you to take time off from work, get your car repaired, deal with insurance companies, and seek medical care if you have been injured.

What many people don’t realize is that even a minor accident can cause injury or chronic symptoms if not treated immediately afterward. Consider this example: you are hit from behind by someone driving about 15 mph. Even at low-impact speeds (1–25 mph), you may be injured. In rear-end collisions, a driver’s head is jolted forward, often causing hyperextension of the cervical spine and leading to increased muscle tension. An estimated 85% of people involved in rear-end collisions at just 5 mph can experience significant symptoms, and 10% can develop whiplash, which can lead to persistent symptoms for years if not treated properly.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury caused by a sudden and rapid jolting of the head from a forceful impact, typically involving a rear-end collision. Symptoms that can result may not appear for a few days or even weeks following the accident, but they can often be immediate. People may experience head and neck pain, upper body pain, muscle tension or spasms, and headaches. Some may have a decreased range of motion of the upper neck. In addition, others may have associated symptoms, such as low back pain (from having a foot on the brake) or left shoulder pain from a seat belt catching in the collision.

What to do if you think you have been injured in a car accident:

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, seeking urgent care or going to the emergency room is the immediate step that should be taken to have your injuries examined and receive any imaging that may be necessary. Even if you are involved in a low-impact collision, it is important to be examined and start treatment as soon as possible to correct any symptoms that may occur.

First line treatment is acupuncture: Get relief faster

Acupuncture should be part of your first line of treatment after you have been injured because you will heal faster. A recent study found that people who started acupuncture after being diagnosed with whiplash and followed a consistent treatment plan for two to three weeks had a significant reduction in pain levels compared with a control group that did not receive acupuncture.

I often see patients come to my clinic who are frustrated after having had months or even a year of treatment from a chiropractor or physical therapy but are still in pain from injuries sustained in a car accident. At Starting Point, I specialize in chronic and complex cases, using a combined approach to care. Most commonly my patients mention not only do they have chronic pain but anxiety, even PTSD, from the accident which affects their sleep, energy, and quality of life. Our treatments can help your whole body start to function better again.

Get pain free, get back to work, and get on with a healthy life!

Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498, to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help your specific health goals.

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She specializes in chronic and complex cases and commonly treats neuropathy, fibromyalgia, migraines, autoimmune, and infertility cases. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free  and Keep Calm and Zen Out available on Amazon.


Kwak. HY., etc. Acupuncture for Whiplash-associated disorder: A randomized, waiting-list controlled, pilot trial. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, Vol 4, (2): e151-e158.

Wiesel SW, Fetter HL, Rothman RH. Neck Pain. Charlottesville, VA. The Michie Co., 1986, pp 10-26.

Morris F. Do head restraints protect the neck from whiplash injuries? Archives of Emergency Medicine, 1989, 6:17-21.

Jackson R. Crashes Cause Most Neck Pain. Amer. Med. News, Dec. 5, 1966.
States JD, Korn MW, Masengill JB. The enigma of whiplash injuries. Proceedings of the 13th Annual Conference of the Amer. Assoc. for Auto. Med., 1969.

Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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