Neck Pain After a Car Accident: Common Symptoms and Treatment Options


Car accidents happen daily, with more than 5 million occurring yearly. If you recently suffered a collision and are now experiencing neck pain, you aren’t alone.

Many experience pain after a vehicle collision due to soft tissue injuries due to force. Since the neck is so flexible, this area of the body is rather susceptible to soft tissue injuries and aches. After suffering a car accident, necks are often sore, stiff, and painful.

In this article, we’ll discuss some common symptoms of neck pain after a car accident symptoms and treatments. Read on!

Common Symptoms of Having Neck Pain After a Car Accident

Having neck pain after a car accident can be a scary and uncomfortable experience. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the situation.


Neck Stiffness

Neck stiffness is a common symptom of neck injuries after a car accident. This can range from minor small-of-the-back pain to debilitating joint and muscle pain around the head and neck. It is important to consult with a medical professional to determine the best option for you.


Headaches can range from mild to severe and can be associated with other symptoms such as dizziness, blurred vision, or nausea. Pain can be located anywhere in the neck but is usually felt in the back of the head or around the temples.

Muscle Spasms

Neck pain after a car accident is a common symptom and can be caused by muscle spasms. Muscle spasms are the result of abnormal contractions of the neck muscles.

These contractions can be caused by muscle strain or a more serious injury, such as a whiplash injury sustained in a car accident. The pain caused by muscle spasms can range from mild to severe and is often accompanied by stiffness and restricted neck movement.


Sensory nerve damage is what causes numbness, but a warm pad, massage, or stretching can help. If the numbness is more serious, you may be able to treat it by wearing a neck brace to take pressure off your neck. Using an ice pack to reduce swelling or taking anti-inflammatory drugs may also help.


Fatigue can significantly contribute to neck pain. Physical trauma from an accident can cause the muscles and joints of the neck to tense up. This leads to episodes of stiffness, discomfort, and even severe pain.

A person who has experienced an accident and feels dull, achy, or sharp neck pain should observe if they are also experiencing fatigue. Fatigue can indicate a disrupted circadian rhythm, so it is important to get proper rest and nutrition for proper healing.


Often, dizziness is associated with neck pain due to tension, inflammation, and decreased range and mobility in the neck joints. The sensation of lightheadedness, vertigo, nausea, and difficulty in focus can all be caused by neck pain.

Treatment Options for Neck Pain After a Car Accident

Treatment options for neck pain due to car accident injuries vary depending on the severity of the injury. In cases where the source of the neck pain is uncertain, imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-rays may be recommended to help diagnose the cause of the pain.

Pain Medication

Pain medicine can help with this kind of pain because it reduces swelling and pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and muscle relaxants are often used to treat neck pain. These medicines stop some chemicals in your body that cause pain and swelling.

If NSAIDs and muscle relaxants don’t help the pain or if the pain is caused by something else, the doctor may recommend other drugs, like steroids. Before taking painkillers, you should talk to your doctor because they can sometimes have side effects or be dangerous if taken with other drugs.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Heat and cold therapies are a great way to relieve neck pain. Heat increases circulation to the affected area, which can help reduce muscle soreness. Cold therapies lower inflammation and can help reduce swelling. Heat or cold applications can be applied directly to the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time.

You can switch between hot and cold to help ensure that the affected area receives the full benefits of both treatments. Over-the-counter medications and massage therapy can also be used to treat neck pain. It is important to note that these treatments can be combined but should never be used without consulting a medical provider first.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a good way to treat neck pain that is caused by an auto crash. Physical therapy methods can include strengthening and stretching exercises. It also includes manual therapy techniques like soft tissue and joint mobilization and electrical stimulation.

To avoid and ease more pain, it is also important to teach the patient how to stand up straight and give them exercises to do at home. Also, education helps the patient understand the changes that happen to the muscles and bones after a car accident. All this can help avoid more neck and back pain.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a safe, natural, and noninvasive form of treatment that can be used to address neck pain in car accident victims. The chiropractor for auto accidents will aim to restore proper alignment and mobility of the spine, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the muscles in the neck area that support the spine.

Neck pain treatment options may include spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapies, postural and ergonomic adjustments, and rehabilitative exercises. If the condition is more serious, the doctor may also recommend medication or referral to a specialist.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can provide immediate and long-term relief for neck pain associated with car accidents. Massage therapists are trained to target muscle spasms, increasing movement and blood flow to the injured area and releasing endorphins that can reduce pain and inflammation.

Generally, the frequency and duration of treatments depend on the nature and severity of the injury. Still, most patients need multiple treatments over the course of several weeks to see significant improvements.

Learn What to Do if You Have Neck Pain After a Car Accident

As neck pain after a car accident can vary in intensity, it’s important to seek medical attention if experiencing significant neck pain after an accident. Treatment will depend on the severity of the injury but may range from rest and exercises to medical treatment.

Remember to consult your medical provider to determine the best treatment plan to help manage discomfort and reduce the risk of long-term neck issues.