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Orthopedic vs. Chiropractic Care After an Accident

Injured in a car accident? Thousands of collisions occur every day on American roads, and nearly half of them lead to injuries. The type of medical treatment you need depends on the type and severity of injuries you’ve sustained, and it’s critical to understand what type of medical professional can best help you. If you’ve sustained back, neck, or other musculoskeletal injuries, you may need to see a chiropractor or orthopedic surgeon. Here’s how you can determine which is best for you.

What Is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is a medical professional who provides non-surgical treatments for disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Using a combination of manual therapy and manipulative techniques, a chiropractor can adjust the spine and other joints in the body. By following a chiropractic care plan after an accident, many patients enjoy restored function in the neck and spine, as well as improved blood flow and reduced inflammation that helps muscles heal.

Sometimes, a chiropractor will recommend lifestyle changes and exercise in a comprehensive treatment plan. Chiropractors can treat a wide range of accident-related injuries, like:

  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Sprains and strains
  • Whiplash
  • And more

What Is an Orthopedic Doctor?

Orthopedic doctors are medical doctors licensed in their state of operation. These doctors can perform surgeries, prescribe medications, and provide other forms of intervention to treat car accident-related injuries. While they treat many of the same conditions and injuries that chiropractors do, they’re more likely to recommend surgery for serious problems. Some of the most common conditions an orthopedic doctor treat include:

  • Arthritis
  • Dislocated joints
  • Fractures
  • Herniated discs
  • Torn ligaments
  • And more

When to See a Chiropractor vs. an Orthopedic Surgeon

If you’re experiencing pain or challenges with mobility after a car accident, visiting a chiropractor is a conservative treatment for musculoskeletal problems. An orthopedic doctor, on the other hand, is better for more serious injuries that may require injections, prescriptions, or surgery.

A chiropractor is an excellent first line of defense for car accident victims who suffer from back and neck pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ, and similar conditions. If you’ve been in a car accident, your primary care doctor may refer you to a chiropractor before considering surgery. If you’ve sustained injuries like broken bones or torn ligaments, your doctor will likely refer you to an orthopedic specialist.

Impact Medical Group of Tampa Supports Your Recovery After an Accident

If you’ve been in a car accident, seek a medical evaluation immediately—even if you don’t feel pain or have any apparent injuries. Delaying treatment can cause any underlying symptoms and conditions to worsen, so early detection and treatment are critical. The highly qualified team at

Impact Medical Group of Tampa is ready to help. In many cases, chiropractic care can reduce pain and restore mobility after an accident. Call us today at (813) 283-1910 to request your free consultation and personalized treatment plan!