Navesink Rehab

Neck Pain After a Car Accident? Causes and Treatment Options

Experience high-quality auto accident and neck pain treatment in Red Bank, New Jersey. Call Navesink Rehab today at (732) 530-7700.

Are you dealing with troubling neck pain after a car accident? Car accidents can cause serious damage to the body and lead to extreme pain throughout the back and neck. Getting treatment as quickly as possible from a neck pain doctor can help you heal and return to normal.

Learning what to do for neck pain after a car accident can help you experience the best recovery. Additionally, understanding the causes of post-accident neck pain and how you can treat your injuries will prevent problems from getting worse. At Navesink Rehab, we provide trusted treatment options to those suffering from neck pain after car accidents, offering physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and more. 

According to BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 27 of every 1,000 people experienced neck pain in 2019, and that number has grown with the increase in work-related stress, other health problems, poor posture, and automotive accidents. If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a recent car accident, you’re not alone. Learn more about how auto accidents and neck pain are related, then reach out to the friendly staff at Navesink Rehab in Red Bank, NJ.

Common Causes of Neck Pain After Car Accidents

According to the American College of Rheumatology, 30% of the population has some type of neck pain episode each year. During a car accident, the body can twist in an uncomfortable and unexpected manner. The neck is often a major area for injury and, in severe cases, paralysis.

Whiplash, one of the most common neck pain problems after a car accident, typically occurs in rear-end accidents. Some might recover from whiplash after several weeks of recovery, while others can take longer and experience lasting effects, including mobility problems and severe pain.

Some of the most common reasons you might experience neck pain after a car accident include:

  • Your neck moving from side to side during impact
  • Flying objects slamming into your neck
  • Your neck suddenly jerking forward or backward

You might notice delayed neck pain after a car accident because some symptoms show up as time passes. That’s why it’s essential to seek treatment for your post-accident injuries and neck pain. A healthcare professional can help you heal and recommend the best treatment options.

Symptoms of Neck Pain After a Car Accident

According to the Transportation Safety and Environment Journal, 800,000 vehicle crashes result in neck injuries every year in the United States. Following a car accident, you’re likely to experience various symptoms, including neck pain. You could experience delayed neck pain after a car accident or immediately notice sharp pain in various areas of your neck.

You could also feel extremely fatigued following the accident, along with symptoms of whiplash, chronic pain, disc damage, and more. Some people also have vision loss, difficulty with memory recollection, dizziness, and nausea. You may notice pain that travels up your body or down your spine. 

The most clear symptoms of an auto accident neck injury are stiffness, feeling like your head or neck is much heavier, decreased movement in the neck, muscle spasms, or constant pain. Any of these suggests you should seek treatment.

Other symptoms include the following:

  • Cuts and lacerations in the neck
  • Pinched or compressed nerves
  • Fractures in the neck
  • A herniated or slipped disc

If you’re not sure what to do for neck pain after a car accident, contact your physician as soon as possible. 

What Factors Can Worsen Car Accident Neck Injuries?

When you have neck pain from a car accident, you want your pain to decrease over time. However, if you have pre-existing health problems or symptoms that could make neck pain worse, you might have a longer recovery timeline. These risk factors may include:

  • Long-term poor posture or back problems
  • Smoking
  • A job that requires neck strain
  • Previous neck trauma or injuries
  • Previous automotive accidents
  • Old age

Treatment Options for Post-Car-Accident Neck Pain

Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more options for dealing with neck pain after a car accident. Some of the most popular include:

Home Exercise

One way to treat neck pain after a car accident is to perform some low-stress exercises that don’t worsen the injuries. Participating in recommended stretches, yoga, Tai Chi, brisk walks, and spending some time in a pool are popular home exercise options.

Once you have a medical evaluation from a professional that treats auto accident injuries, they can assess your injuries. They will then recommend what types of home exercises will strengthen your muscles and prevent acute and long-term pain in your neck. 

Physical Therapy

A licensed and experienced physical therapist can help you alleviate your neck pain after a car accident. Physical therapists have a deep understanding of the body, especially how a car accident can affect it. They can offer treatments for healing sore and injured muscles.

physical therapist may help you return to exercising and staying active in a safe and healthy way. They will take your body’s condition into consideration, ensuring you aren’t pushing yourself too soon. 


Some medications can help relieve some of the pain you’re facing after an accident. For example, your doctor may recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen for small amounts of pain but could also couple this with some of the above options. Listen to your doctor’s recommendations, and don’t overdo it. 

Chiropractic Support

Chiropractors help patients treat a wide range of post-accident symptoms. These include back pain, muscle stiffness, and neck pain. They provide thorough evaluations to determine where to start with your treatment and how to help you find relief.

In many cases, chiropractors may suggest combining their treatment with physical therapy to give you a more well-rounded treatment plan that helps improve your range of motion and boost overall recovery.

A Surgical Procedure

Depending on the extent of your injuries, surgical procedures might help with your auto accident recovery. Most medical specialists will try to explore other non-invasive options before recommending surgery. It is often a last resort and an option professionals avoid until absolutely necessary.

When your spine and neck have serious damage, surgery may become the only way to help your body heal. 

The Importance of Seeking Professional Care After a Car Accident

It’s essential to seek treatment for your injuries from a car accident to prevent permanent damage and sensation loss to your body. A medical professional might recommend X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans to get the fullest picture of your situation and look at your previous medical history. Not getting the right treatment could mean serious damage to your neck and other parts of your body.

If you’re relying on your insurance company to support some of your treatment, taking immediate action is key. They may not provide you with the help you need if you take your time and wait to work with a physical therapist, chiropractor, or another trusted professional. You could also end up worsening your injuries and having to pay more out of pocket, resulting in further physical and financial stress.

The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the worse your injuries could become. Even if you don’t notice any immediate pain after an accident, schedule an appointment with your doctor anyway. That way, you can have greater peace of mind and a better recovery experience.

Contact Navesink Rehab in Red Bank, NJ, When You Have Neck Pain After a Car Accident

At Navesink Rehab, our treatment providers are passionate about helping our fellow New Jersey neighbors improve their overall health and well-being. If a car accident leaves you injured or with neck pain, we can help you find relief and enjoy a smoother recovery.

We can’t stress enough how vital it is to seek treatment for your neck pain after a car accident to prevent further injuries. Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection. Same-day appointments may be available.

Our Navesink Rehab team provides trusted chiropractic, physical therapy, and acupuncture services to Red Bank, New Jersey, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (732) 530-7700 to schedule a service appointment at our facility. 

We also offer auto accident injury treatment services and can help if you’ve recently experienced an accident.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long After a Car Accident Does Neck Pain Last?

After a car accident, neck pain can last anywhere from several days to weeks. You could experience acute or long-term neck pain. 

How Can You Get Rid of Neck Pain After a Car Accident?

You can get rid of neck pain after a car accident through one or more treatment options. Some of the most popular recovery methods include ice and heat therapy, a neck brace, chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and more. 

Is It Normal To Experience Neck Pain After a Car Accident?

It’s normal to experience immediate and delayed neck pain after a car accident, but seeking treatment right away can help alleviate symptoms.