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Chiropractic vs. Acupuncture for Auto Accidents (in Portland, Oregon)

Auto Injury in Portland

Chiropractic vs. Acupuncture for Auto Accidents (in Portland, Oregon)

The body undergoes a huge amount of stress during a car accident. Our bodies are not built to absorb impacts. Even an accident at 5-10 miles per hour can cause injuries.

Symptoms can occur days and weeks after the accident, and acupuncture can help with whiplash, headaches, neck pain, and concussions–to name a few.

Not only that, did you know that auto insurance covers 100% of acupuncture treatments for car accident injuries?  All you have to do is call for an appointment. A doctor’s referral is NOT needed.

When you or someone you know has been in a major or minor collision, seeking a qualified, experienced, and effective health care provider is crucial to your recovery.

Be cautious. We see too many medical clinics that drain patients’ insurance benefits and make lots of money, but the patient is still in pain. So, you really want someone who will help find you a different medical provider if you aren’t getting better in their care.

As a medical clinic that specializes in acupuncture, we often get the question: which is better chiropractic vs. acupuncture for auto accidents?

To help answer this question, we’ve decided to do a deep dive into the differences between these two treatment methods, the benefits, and how they work together over time. Let’s explore.

Chiropractic vs. Acupuncture for Auto Accident Injuries | Portland, OR

In truth, it’s not necessarily about which is better (chiropractic vs. acupuncture after a car accident) but how to integrate care for the best recovery.

For instance, acupuncture is key to reducing muscle pain, inflammation, and spasms. Acupuncture helps your body heal damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. As this happens, the muscles are more relaxed. Then, a chiropractic adjustment will feel better, and the adjustments will hold better and longer.

After an auto injury, you do not want to squeeze or twist the neck, shoulders, or back until the time is right. After acupuncture helps drop inflammation, muscle strains, and muscle spasms, then chiropractic adjustments can be glorious and can provide great relief.

So, both chiropractic and acupuncture have their place in your treatment plan. The key is timing when and which treatment to maximize your recovery after a car accident. Every chiropractor (and PT and massage therapist, for that matter) have reported better results when they work together with our acupuncturists at The WellBridge Clinic. We’ll go into more detail on this below.

What Makes Acupuncture Different?

Traditional and classical acupuncture (which includes dry needling) is much more comprehensive than other health care modalities. In other words, it focuses on your whole health, from the inside to the outside and from your nose to your toes. That is functional medicine. And acupuncture and Chinese medicine represent the original ‘Functional Medicine.’

Acupuncture creates scientifically measurable changes in your musculo-skeletal system, nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system. This is why acupuncture can be so helpful. After all, everything in your body is connected.

Acupuncturists take the time to identify the problems (e.g., inflammation, poor sleep, digestive problems, chronic stress, or poor posture) that could slow or even prevent your recovery. Our acupuncturists take a comprehensive, holistic approach so you get better and stay better.

If you don’t believe us, check out the hundreds of studies of over 20,000 people in Germany, which shows that acupuncture provided better pain relief than prescriptions, physical therapy, or surgeries. And the studies show that those patients stayed better longer.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

We’ll be honest. Sometimes you feel something. Any sensation from acupuncture should only last a split second, if anything at all. More importantly, it surprises some people to find out that acupuncture treatments are very relaxing. Many people even fall asleep.

In fact, our clinic treats combat veterans and other people who experience the effects of trauma. Acupuncture helps the nervous system relax, and that is another way we help people recover from pain.

How Acupuncture Helps Car Accident Injuries 

When you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to keep in mind that the body has gone through serious trauma. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons could be damaged, and many people have a concussion. Seeking care is crucial, but this care shouldn’t aggravate muscles, tissues, or bones, which are in a vulnerable, sensitive state.

The muscles and tissues are inflamed after a motor vehicle accident, so the best thing to start with is reducing that inflammation. That’s one of the many ways acupuncture benefits you in your auto accident recovery. We often see people that have difficulty with even turning their head and it is that inflammation where we begin.

The first couple treatments rarely use acupuncture points at the areas of pain. Our purpose is to lessen the damage in the body and reduce inflammation. Most people are able to move far more during the treatment and report a reduction or even elimination of pain. Your visits will be close together at first.

Muscle Memory

Everyone knows what muscle memory is; when you see a top-notch athlete or musician, every movement is automatic and natural. We take for granted the amazing muscle memory we have in our day-to-day lives. But when people are in a car accident, those muscles develop “bad memories.”

Acupuncture works through the central nervous system and on the local muscles to train the muscle memory to have a good memory again. As the muscles are flexing and lengthening comfortably, then massage and chiropractic care become more enjoyable and helpful.

Acupuncture Treatment

Why We Recommend Acupuncture for Car Accidents 

One of the largest benefits of acupuncture for your car accident recovery is the gentle yet effective nature of our treatment. We don’t do twisting adjustments, such as what you might get if you’re having your neck or bones cracked. (We do some stretches, though.) Sometimes when the injuries are very severe, we don’t even use acupuncture around the injuries, and patients still leave the clinic feeling better.

Acupuncture is especially useful in the early stages after your car accident before integrating other health care modalities, such as chiropractic work. (Acupuncture is great for whiplash and many other injuries.) As your recovery progresses, we continue to work with your health care team and often we are able to put the ‘polish’ on your treatment so you feel better and stay better.


Concussions are a serious and common injury during a car accident. It doesn’t take much, and acupuncture and cupping along with proper nutrition are a crucial step.

Anxiety and PTSD

We can even help with anxiety, depression, and trauma post-accident. As we mentioned earlier, car accidents can be highly traumatic. Some people become hypervigilant and fearful about getting back in the car, driving, or being a passenger. 

Acupuncture can ease this stress and help you feel more comfortable getting behind the wheel again. (Even the Department of Defense uses acupuncture for combat veterans and people with emotional trauma.)

What Should the Calendar of Care Look Like?

After an auto accident, it is important to seek acupuncture treatment as soon as possible. Then, once you are able to move more freely and feel less pain to the touch, the next step would be seeing a chiropractor or scheduling a massage. 

Of course, the exact treatment plan of acupuncture and chiropractor work may vary based on the extent and severity of your injuries. Health care at The WellBridge Clinic is always individualized.

Below are the three stages of health care when you come to The WellBridge Clinic for auto accident recovery:

3 stages of health care

Get Acupuncture Near Me Today

Now that you know the differences between chiropractic vs. acupuncture for auto accidents, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment at The WellBridge Clinic. We are committed to helping you recover safely, quickly, and effectively. Book an appointment online today.

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