Auto Accident and Chiropractic FAQs
Following a car accident, most patients will seek medical care in order to ensure that there are no permanent or long lasting injuries. Additionally, many individuals seek pain relief from their accident, and the new soft tissue injuries that are present from the accident. Patients are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately following an accident, where appropriate imaging studies may be performed, and pharmaceutical treatments (pain relievers and muscle relaxers) may be initiated. Following the initial visit through urgent care, many patients are encouraged to follow up with their doctor to continue care. Unfortunately, most primary care doctors are not equipped to manage the soft tissue injuries that require therapy, outside of pharmaceutical management. It is in the patient’s best interest to begin a rehabilitation/therapy program as soon as possible in order to overcome the soft tissue injuries, reduce pain, and help the patient to return to pre-injury status as soon as possible.
Why Patients Should Be Referred to a Chiropractor
Doctors of Chiropractic specialize in structural injuries that result from accidents, traumas, and falls. Soft tissue injuries that result from these accidents, including auto accidents, can result in long term, disabling symptoms if left untreated. Chronic pain syndromes, scar tissue, adhesions within the joint tissues, and muscle imbalance are a few of the lasting injuries that result from untreated trauma. Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash, are a common occurrence in auto accident injuries. In some patients, soft tissue injuries become symptomatic days after an accident, and may not be reported during the initial urgent care visit. Encouraging the patient to follow up with a health care provider trained in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injuries ensures patient satisfaction on the road to recovery.
How Are Soft Tissue Injuries Diagnosed
In many situations, following a visit to the urgent care clinic, the patient has already been screened for fractures, and has been cleared from the urgent care physician from emergency treatment. Diagnosing soft tissue injuries includes a comprehensive physical exam involving soft tissue, and joint palpation, orthopedic, neurological, chiropractic and functional movement testing. In situations where a person involved in an auto accident has not received x-rays or CT scans to rule out pathology, and they are warranted, our facility refers these individuals to an imaging center with board certified radiologists in order to perform the requested imaging studies. We do not perform in-house imaging in our facility.
Can a Chiropractor Treat Auto Accident Injuries
The doctor of chiropractic is a specialist in structural injuries. Chiropractors are able to identify, diagnose, treat, and manage soft tissue injuries, joint misalignments that do not require casting, headaches, and other structural imbalances. Doctors of chiropractic do not treat fractures, or visceral injuries that result from auto accidents (ie. ruptured spleen, punctured lung, etc.)
What Type of Treatment is Needed to Return to Pre-Injury Status
The treatment provided will consist of joint mobilization, soft tissue therapy/rehabilitation, supervised stretching and strengthening programs.
How Long Will the Patient Need Treatment
Treatment depends on the severity of the patient’s injury, as well as underlying conditions or illnesses. In general, an individual that does not have underlying illnesses or disease will heal faster than someone that does. Therefore, treatment time may vary greatly from less than a month to the potential of permanent disability.
Does Insurance Pay for Chiropractic Services
For individuals that are involved in an auto accident, the insurance of the insured motorist at fault handles the medical bills. In situations where there is an uninsured motorist, or the injured patient was the at fault driver, provisions within the auto insurance such as Personal Injury Protection coverage or Med Pay. In certain situations, and at the request of the patient’s attorney, our office is able to perform the necessary medical services through the use of a Letter of Protection.
Patients that with soft tissue injuries that originate from accidents, traumas, and/or falls that do not involve an auto accident can use their major medical insurance policy to cover expenses, pending individual plan coverage.
What if the Patient Needs to Pursue Medical Damages in Court
We will be happy to refer you to an attorney that specializes in auto injury cases.