Motor vehicle crashes and accidents cause significant trauma in a few seconds changing an individual’s life completely. Severe injuries include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, fractures, and amputations. Many individuals experience post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD after a vehicle collision; even a minor accident can cause emotional trauma symptoms. PTSD commonly presents with other symptoms that range from depression to heart disease, and the most frequent symptom is physical pain. Chiropractic decompression, physical therapy, and therapeutic massage can help alleviate physical pain.

PTSD Physical Pain Symptoms

PTSD Physical Pain

Physical trauma can cause immediate physical effects and injury, as well as physical symptoms that present later on.


  • Flashbacks or reliving the collision incident.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Nightmares about the wreck.
  • Fatigue.
  • Memory and concentration problems.
  • Hyperarousal.
  • Fear.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irritability or anger.
  • Avoiding driving or riding in a vehicle.
  • Trying not to talk or think about the crash or accident with friends, family, places, or anything associated with the trauma.
  • Avoiding activities.
  • Emotional numbness.
  • Detachment.

All can generate physical muscle tension and chronic stress, leading to headaches, migraines, back pain, stomach pain, and body aches. Long-term physical pain symptoms can turn chronic pain and medication dependency into a vicious cycle.

Chiropractic Therapy

Chiropractic care diagnoses and treats disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic treatment is recommended to help alleviate the physical symptoms of PTSD. Trauma causes individuals to store intense emotions in their bodies. Chiropractic manipulation and decompression release the tension in the muscles caused by the trauma and the emotional stress. Adjustments restore the body’s alignment and open the nervous system circulation, allowing signals to flow freely, leading to a healthier mind-body connection.

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy


Beck, J Gayle, and Scott F Coffey. “Assessment and treatment of PTSD after a motor vehicle collision: Empirical findings and clinical observations.” Professional psychology, research, and practice vol. 38,6 (2007): 629-639. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.38.6.629

Elder, Charles et al. “Comparative Effectiveness of Usual Care With or Without Chiropractic Care in Patients with Recurrent Musculoskeletal Back and Neck Pain.” Journal of general internal medicine vol. 33,9 (2018): 1469-1477. doi:10.1007/s11606-018-4539-y

Hu, JunMei, et al. “Chronic widespread pain after motor vehicle collision typically occurs through immediate development and nonrecovery: results of an emergency department-based cohort study.” Pain vol. 157,2 (2016): 438-444. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000388


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The information herein on "PTSD Physical Pain Symptoms Post Vehicle Accident" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*


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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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