Dizziness, weakness, etc after a rear end car accident

by Jennifer

I was rear ended in a car accident 3 weeks ago. I wasn't moving that fast when it happened, and me and the other driver were able to drive away after we got the police report.

But a week later I woke up with severe pain in my neck, right shoulder and some numbness in my right hand. So I saw my GP that evening. He prescribed a prescription anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant to take as needed and suggested I start seeing a chiropractor or physical therapy.

I knew of a good chiro so I started seeing him. He did a pretty thorough physical at my 1st appointment and said I had neck sprain and muscle strain and should try and see him twice a week for awhile. I have been back once since and will see him at least once a week.

Between the meds and the chiro my pain has not been bad, but I have started having days of pretty bad and continuous dizziness, light headed, and kind of sick to my stomach (which is very unusual for me). My first day of this was this past Saturday. Then it started again yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and is still going on. If anything its worse today that as soon as I stand up and start walking around I start feeling true vertigo with the room spinning and even more nauseous.

I called my GP this morning, told them what's going on, and their next appointment is Monday evening which I took.
My biggest concern is I don't feel I have any real understanding why this is happening, or which type of Dr/specialist to see who might be able to help me?

I'll do what I need to do, but I want to see the right type of person who can help me. I have 2 young children, a husband who has to travel sometimes for his job, and no other family around to help. And its unpredictable at this point when the dizzyness will hit, if I can drive or not. So its going to be hard to get rides if I need them, and I would rather not waste that on appointments that won't do any good.

Any advice appreciated.

Thank you
Jennifer C

Hi Jennifer, Michelle here...

Thanks for writing and including so much information. So far you have followed the initial steps I would have recommended to my patients: see a General Practitioner MD, and see a chiropractor...

Let me do my best to give you a bit of information and I will do my best to recommend who to see next, in hopes any or all of it helps.

Medication can often make you feel worse. Muscle relaxants are notorious for making people feel ill, dizzy and out of sorts. You are not supposed to drive while taking them either. So, without knowing how often you are taking them, I would tell you they do not cure what ails you, they are designed to help you manage some of the pain. If you are able to manage without muscle relaxants, you will likely feel a little better.

In addition anti-inflammatory meds are extremely hard on the stomach and must be taken with food, always. Prescription anti-inflammatories are very strong, even over the counter anti-inflammatory pills make folks nauseous, so eat first, more than say just a cracker, and then take your anti-inflammatory... for most people this simple step helps immensely with the nauseousness...

Ok, so seeing a chiropractor is one of the best things you can do for the type of injury you have, however one treatment is not nearly enough to help you. You really will need multiple treatments to start finding relief from the pain in your body. If after evaluating you, the chiropractor recommended 2 a week, I would say 2x a week is essential.

Now, dizziness, and vertigo can be caused by a number of things:

1. Mild concussion, fairly common in car accidents, the brain hits the inside of the skull, and you can have some mild bruising, and or some symptoms that are related to this impact. The only cure is rest and then, more rest.

Being a full time parent I understand that the opportunity for rest is unlikely, but do try to rest as often as you can, no exercise, no staying up late, naps whenever you can, go as easy as is possible (I am not being naive at how much is on your plate, just suggesting going easy)...

2. Your neck injury can also contribute to all the feelings of vertigo/nauseousness that you have. So, go into your chiropractor tell him you are having alot of difficult symptoms and ask him if they are related to your neck injury or if he feels its time to see a neurologist.

He will know the next best step for you to take. His exam of you will have given him enough information to have formed a medical opinion on where the vertigo and dizziness are coming from....

The chiropractor will know the right doctor for you to see as the chiropractor will have had many patients who have had these symptoms before and will know how to help you.

So, the short answer is: more treatment straight-away with the chiropractor, let him guide your treatment. If he has nothing to offer then do head back to your GP, and your GP will help you find the next best solution.

Generally I would hold off on Physical therapy until you are much further along in your healing process. Often at this stage, the very beginning after a car accident, physical therapy is painful, and you will not feel you are making progress. I have found it can slow the healing time down.

In a few months from now, physical therapy will be just right.

Hope all this helps!

Sincerely, Michelle

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Dizziness, weakness, etc after a rear end car accident

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Jun 29, 2013
massage therapy? NEW
by: Kate

I was in a pretty bad accident 2 months ago. Had dizziness hit about a week after. Went to a doctor who prescribed anti vertigo meds and said it would clear up in a few days. It did, but then last week my neck pain started up again and the dizziness came back as well. I'm a bit leery about going to a chiropractor. Would massage therapy help instead?

Apr 27, 2013
Prolonged dizziness
by: Anne Sherlock

I've just come across this page looking for answers as I have seen 5 different doctors and each of them have told me whiplash doesn't cause dizziness, well I think it does. I was stationary when a car at speed hit me, my head was facing toward the left at the time of impact, I instantly looked forward as my car was shunted into the car In front which was waiting to turn off to the right, my accident was a concertina with me in the middle.
My head felt full of pressure I was dizzy and vomited. At the walk in clinic I was told I had whiplash ( the pain to the left of my neck and back was immediate) my accident happened on the 19th February 2013 today is 27th of April and I'm still dizzy and still off work yet nobody is able to tell me why this is. Yesterday a doctor told me whiplash does not cause this but I've never had before and it started directly after the impact.
I have been prescribed declafenacs then was changed to tramadol alongside naproxen, diazepam was added to this later as the physio said the muscles in my back were too tight. I have of yesterday been prescribed amitriptyline and a nasal spray ( incase there may be fluid behind my eardrums which could be possible in my left ear). I have a dreadful high pitch buzzing in my right ear sometimes making it impossible to hold a conversation particularly on the phone.
I'm unable to walk my dog a friend now keeps her, I can't wash my own hair, drive my car, go to work, or go out unless I have someone to hold on to. My back is so painful that I can only walk for about ten minutes. How much longer will this go on for and why don't doctors know about dizziness after rear end car accidents? I welcome any advice or answers I'm beginning to feel helpless and I have been given a sick note for another month off work which will be four months in total. Many thanks Anne.

Hi Anne, Michelle here...

Your doctors are WRONG. Dizziness after a rearend accident is one of the most common symptoms. Doctors know lots of things, but they do not study muscle/skeletal issues extensively.

You need to find a chiropractor who specializes in Atlas-Orthogonal adjustments. Do this right now. Your dizziness will be a thing of the past.

You will not need to speak to any of your current doctors about this. A chiropractor is a specialist in the muscles and skeleton and are primary care doctors, meaning you do not need a referral to see one. (If there are no local chiros who do atlas-orthogonal, a regular chiro will help a ton as well!!)

Simply use google to find one in your local area, the car insurance will pay for it. Start right away! And you MUST have a lawyer!! Essential, you are going to have a claim that you will do better by having a lawyer involved...click here, and Fill out form on this page.

You are correct this is related to the accident, you WILL get well again, you just need the right treatment!

Good luck, M.

Jan 26, 2013
by: Anonymous

Hi Anonymous, I have given your question it's own page, as the answer was larger than this space allowed. Head over here to see your question and my response. Hope this helps!

Rear Ended

Jan 18, 2013
Chiro vs MD
by: Anonymous

Chiropractors are NOT licensed medical doctors!

Hi anonymous, M here.

You are all fired up for the wrong reasons, and wasting time on the wrong subject. You are saying a truck is not a car, and for that you are correct... Chiropractors are primary care doctors in many states. They are not medical doctors. They are doctors of chiropractic. The difference is significant. And this client needs a chiropractic doctor, immediately as a medical doctor is not trained to help her.

Dec 13, 2012
Taming Pain
by: Monica

I was in an accident a year and half ago and I will never be the same. I still work very hard on my healing journey and suggest that you think outside the box, find people who heal and not treat you like a number. I have had two surgeries, myo-facial therapists, trigger point therapists, acupuncture, deep tissue, essential oils, upper cervical chiropractor specialist, and chiropractors of various abilities. Do not give up and do not let people tell you how you feel.

Good luck,


Nov 26, 2012
Dizziness, neck pain, left shoulder pain, etc. after rearend car accident
by: Nikole

Thank God! Someone knows whats wrong with me. All the work comp. doctors say they dont understand why I am still dizzy and/or light headed after 2 months. Well guess what if they dont know niether do I ! I asked to see a Chiropractor and they said they do not believe in them. I feel like my neck needs messaged and my neck and back need aligned. I drive a Public Transportation vehicle and they say I am fine to go back to work! This is laughable to me and not to mention insane on their part! I will be seeing my own "Normal" doc soon, and now I can ask him for real help and to be sent to a chiropractor. To all those out there that think your nuts, your not, these are very real symptoms and they are also very scary. Initially after the accident approx. 3 days after I started to experience cognative problems. I put 2 earrings in one ear without knowing, wrote down phone numbers wrong, dates wrong etc,. I found I could not drive long distances without getting dlightheaded, blurred vision and headaches. I have a constant headache, before this accident I never had any of these symptoms. More research needs to be done in regards to whiplash concussions and chiropractors need to be more respected by doctors!

Hi Nikole, Michelle here...

You do not need permission to seek treatment from a chiropractor. You sound like you should be talking to an attorney, your injuries are serious and it sounds like you are not getting the treatment you need.

An attorney will make sure you get the proper treatment, whomever said "we don't believe in chiropractors" is not someone who should have any control over your case. Chiropractors are doctors. ... Please don't wait to get treatment, it will help so much! Good luck!

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