Auto accidents occur in a blink of an eye, often before we are able to see or react to them.  It takes just a moment for a speeding car to make its impact, and in the meantime, the body goes through a series of reactions.  You may only have a second or less of realization before an accident occurs.  During that time, a fear response is already underway.  Your pupils may dilate, muscles tighten, and breathing become more rapid as the adrenal glands begin to release stress hormones such as adrenaline or cortisol.  Then, there’s the impact.

When your car strikes another vehicle or object, there can be a number of different outcomes.  The type and position of the object you strike and the speed at which one or both are traveling will determine how your body responds.  But in any case, the vehicle may come to an abrupt stop, while the body continues to travel at the original speed, hurling strongly in one direction and sending internal organs slamming into each other or the skeletal system.  Thankfully, due to the body’s initial responses and stress hormones, you may not immediately feel pain.  In fact, it could be days before your injuries manifest, and in some cases, these injuries lead to additional problems that could be weeks or even months down the road.


Injuries affecting soft tissue are among the most common delayed injuries, and among these, whiplash occurs most frequently.  Whiplash refers to soft tissues injuries in the neck, sustained when the head is quickly and forcibly moved from one side to the other during impact.  Symptoms of whiplash, which include neck stiffness, back pain, and cognitive problems, can appear gradually, over a course of days.  And if left untreated, whiplash can lead to longer lasting problems such as chronic back and neck pain.

In addition to whiplash, other soft tissue injuries can include sprains, strains, and contusions.  These may be marked by stiffness, swelling and bruising, but others may be less noticeable.


Because soft tissue injuries can appear gradually, seeking medical attention quickly is advisable.  Even if their full effect cannot yet be felt, there is a strong likelihood that an injury is lingering.  Making an appointment with a chiropractor as soon as possible will help minimize pain and injury while also preventing further damage.

Soft tissue injury treatment and diagnosis can be difficult, but it is, fortunately, an area in which chiropractors are especially well-equipped.  Not only can they evaluate the full extent of the injury, they can pinpoint the exact source and develop a non-surgical treatment plan to bring relief and function to the injured areas. 

As opposed to pain-relieving medications or injections, chiropractic physicians can utilize techniques such as spinal manipulation and soft tissue rehabilitation.  These therapies can include manual manipulation of the spine, massage therapy, electro-stimulation, stretching, and strength exercises, all combined in a way that is most beneficial for any patient’s particular circumstances.

If you’ve been in an auto accident, don’t wait for pain to rear its ugly head.  Make an appointment with a chiropractor to help identify any soft tissue injuries that may cause problems for you in the short- or long-term.  The sooner these problems can be located and addressed, the quicker and stronger recovery will be.

For those in the Tri-Cities area in Washington, contact Akridge Chiropractic & Laser Pain Relief.  With our convenient location in Kennewick, and being just minutes from both Pasco and Richland, we are here to help.  Simply click below to request your appointment.