Is Medical Massage a Good Car Accident Treatment?

June 11, 2024

Sure, a massage feels incredibly relaxing…

…but is it a good car accident treatment?


Anyone who has been involved in a car accident can tell you that they are no joke.

Even if you manage to avoid a serious medical condition (such as a traumatic brain injury or broken limb), a vehicle accident can leave you in a lot of pain. But before you seek medical attention through physical therapy or painkillers, there’s another car accident treatment you should try.

A combination of chiropractic care and medical massage can be extremely effective at treating your pain at the source, allowing your body to truly heal from the inside out.

closeup of hands performing massage on patient's back


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What Is Medical Massage?

Massage therapy has emerged as one of the safest, most effective ways to relieve pain and promote healing with no adverse side effects. But you can’t get this type of massage at your average day spa. Medical massage should be administered by a certified massage therapist who has experience treating car accident injuries.

The techniques used by massage therapists depend on the condition that is being treated. These include but are not limited to:

  • Contract/relax technique
  • Myofascial lymphatic drainage
  • Neural relax therapy
  • Deep tissue techniques
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Rehabilitative stretching procedures
  • Vacuum cupping technique

While you may feel less stressed after your massage therapy treatment, the ultimate goal of medical massage is not relaxation. Rather, the focus is to address the underlying cause of your symptoms and facilitate healing to the injured area.

Getting a medical massage for whiplash and other soft tissue injuries is one of the most effective ways at treating your condition. Here’s how it works and what to expect.


How Does Medical Massage Work?

In addition to relieving soreness and pain, massage increases blood flow to the affected areas, which helps to reduce inflammation and speed up healing. It can also help break up scar tissue so that your body heals more quickly and completely.

If muscles are tight and “knotted,” they can compress surrounding nerves and blood vessels, causing pain that travels to other parts of the body. Medical massage helps to loosen these muscles and relieve the pressure that is causing your painful symptoms.

You may also experience greater flexibility and range of motion, improved posture, and stress relief.

Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs only provide temporary pain relief and carry potential side effects. For this reason, they are not recommended for long-term care. Additionally, they may not be safe for certain individuals, such as those with liver or kidney problems.

Medical massage, on the other hand, has none of these adverse effects.

woman holding onto the back of her neck

Medical Massage for Whiplash

The injury we refer to as “whiplash” is basically a serious muscle sprain and is one of the most common injuries resulting from car accidents.

While your seat belt keeps your torso relatively stationary during an accident, your head and neck are not so protected. The sudden stop as you collide with another object “whips” your head and neck back and forth, stretching those muscles, tendons, and ligaments beyond what they are used to.

While the injury itself might be localized to the neck area, the pain of whiplash and other car accident injuries is certainly not confined to a single location. This can make it difficult to diagnose (and therefore, properly treat) your car accident injuries with traditional medicine.


Medical Massage For Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries—injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments—are the most common type of car accident injury.

As your body is thrashed around within your car, your muscles and other soft tissues are stretched beyond what they are used to and tear.

Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries can happen anywhere in your body. You may feel sharp, shooting pains; dizziness; stiff or tight muscles; or even headaches. These symptoms may occur immediately after the accident or weeks later.

The best thing you can do is to see a doctor as soon as possible after the incident. In some cases, whiplash can heal on its own, but more severe cases will require professional treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and increase your odds of successful recovery. Seeing a doctor within 14 days of your car accident will also allow you to use your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.

close up of massage therapist performing a trigger point massage

Medical Massage For Herniated Disc

The discs between your vertebrae are made of a spongy material (the nucleus pulposus)  inside of a membrane (the annulus fibrosis).

In a car accident, the sudden movement of your spine can cause this membrane to rupture, causing a herniated disc. (Alternatively, the membrane may be intact, but bulge outward, which is known as a bulging disc.)

Once this process occurs, no medical professional can reverse your condition. Common medical treatment for herniated discs is a discectomy to remove the material altogether, but surgical treatment carries its own set of risks.

Medical massage, on the other hand, is non-invasive and known to be effective at treating this auto accident injury (especially when combined with chiropractic care).


Medical Massage For Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It isn’t just your body that can become injured in a car accident. You may find that you experience emotional symptoms as well. In fact, PTSD is a very common car accident injury.

While the flashbacks and anxiety are best handled by a therapist, medical massage can help reduce symptoms of PTSD by treating your pain and promoting relaxation. Massage has been shown to increase serotonin and melatonin levels, which help contribute to greater wellbeing and improved sleep.


Restore Your Health

Pills and ice packs can only do so much to treat your car accident injuries. For lasting wellness (and not just symptom relief), medical massage for whiplash and other forms of muscle sprain is your best option for avoiding unpleasant side effects and finally healing from your injuries.

At Oviedo Chiropractic, we have four massage therapists on staff as well as two chiropractors who are well-versed in the most effective techniques for car accident injuries. We accept most insurance plans, but offer competitive self-pay rates as well. Money should never be a hindrance to your health!

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If left untreated, whiplash injuries can cause permanent damage. Contact us today to book an appointment and see how we can help!

Justin Cough

Dr. Justin Cough, D.C.

Dr. Cough graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, FL after receiving his BS in Education from SUNY Oswego. Before becoming a chiropractor, he coached many middle and high school sports teams including football, lacrosse, basketball, and soccer. He is passionate about focusing on our bodies' natural healing mechanisms and helping his patients enjoy the utmost sustainability in their lives.

For some, chiropractic offers relief from pain. For others, it's about feeling and looking good. Call today and see what chiropractic can do for you!

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Oviedo Chiropractic

2871 Clayton Crossing Way Suite 1073
Oviedo, FL 32765
(407) 542-1614
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