People hurt in car crashes, especially rear impact crashes, often complain of neck pain, headaches, dizziness, memory problems, unsteadiness, fatigue, and low back pain. Very often, these symptoms do not appear immediately but are delayed 24 to 48 hour, or more. Although this phenomenon is poorly understood on a physiological basis, it has been well documented in the clinical literature and is well understood by clinicians in private practice.
Usually, the first symptoms following the so-called “whiplash” injury is neck stiffness and a feeling of muscle spasm or tightness. This is often accompanied by a reduction in range of motion of the neck. In many cases, people involved in these car accidents experience pain radiating into the shoulders or down the arms. In other cases, various neurological complaints such as numbness or tingling in the arms or hands may be present. While these symptoms may be brief and eventually resolve by themselves, they could also be signs of more serious injury to discs, joints, ligaments, muscles, or spinal nerve roots that may erupt in symptoms or more extensive problems months or years down the road.
Be wary of insurance adjustors that suggest or infer which Doctor you should see or what treatment you need.
It is very important to seek treatment from a doctor who understands the complexities of whiplash injuries and who knows how to treat the condition properly. Very often, people who have been injured in an accident have no prior experience with such situations. Of course, the appropriate doctor to treat whiplash injuries depends on the nature of your injuries, and could include a chiropractor, an orthopedist, or a neurosurgeon….or some combination depending on the circumstances. But, again, how would you know what is best if you have not been in this situation before?
Very often, people simply go to their local Hospital Emergency Room for evaluation/treatment of their car accident related symptoms. To be sure, if you have sustained a head injury, lacerations, broken bones, dislocations, signs of internal injury, inability to move, or signs of brain, spinal cord, or nerve injury your local Emergency Room is the best place to be. The Emergency Room is a very good place to go soon after a car accident if you want to be certain that you have not sustained such injuries and just want the peace of mind of having them ruled out.
But, fortunately, the injuries arising from most day to day car accidents usually don’t reach that order of magnitude. And that is the problem: the Emergency Room is the best place for treatment of high magnitude injuries, but it is not so well geared towards optimum treatment or documentation of the lower magnitude or so-called “soft tissue” injuries.
Unfortunately, all too often, patients are told that they only need to rest, take pain medications for a short period of time, and their symptoms will go away on their own. But often this is not the case, and, unfortunately, the patient does not get proper care right after their injury, when the proper treatment is most critical.
Auto insurance companies love such minimalistic treatment recommendations because it allows them to settle claims quickly, for low value, before patients realize they have an unresolved or worsening problem that requires further investigation or treatment….or experience the other “stealth ” costs of reduced productivity and a reduced quality of life.
Be wary of health care providers that seek to obligate you, in advance, to weeks of multiple treatments or other services that are unfamiliar, or of uncertain value to you.
Over-utilization of health care services for injuries is just as bad as under-treatment of injuries while also bearing a societal cost. Quantity does not necessarily equal “quality,” especially if the treatment is not delivering the results you want. Enough said.
Doesn’t it make more sense to treat someone with a car accident injury like a Pro athlete?
Imagine if you were a professional athlete and that you injured YOUR neck in a car crash. Imagine consulting a health care provider who saw you just one time and told you that you only need to rest, take pain medications for a short period of time, and that your symptoms will go away on their own…everything will take care of itself. (Do you even believe that a ‘Pro” athlete would be treated in such a minimal fashion?) Would you be satisfied with that recommendation or would you want to make sure that your healing and recovery is complete?
Of course, you don’t need to be paid millions of dollars a year or need to be a “Pro” to be treated like a Pro. All you need is to know what is best for you….and start asking for it.
We specialize in the assessment and treatment of painful musculoskeletal injuries and sports related problems. But, our understanding of the methodologies utilized for peak performance,injury prevention, and rehabilitation with elite professional athletes has inspired us to provide many of these same methods to everyday people who seek an active and pain free life, including those who have sustained injury from a car accident.
Using proven, problem-focused principles, we are able to apply effective strategies and techniques to develop customized care that help our patients achieve their physical performance goals. We also have referral relationships with some of the best neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, physical medicine specialists, and neurosurgeons in our community…and, when appropriate, we will not not hesitate to bring them on to a case to serve the best interests of our patients.
With our performance based treatment protocols, our patients know that we seek the fastest possible results. They also know that through these means we seek a lower TOTAL cost to them to actually resolve their problem than what they might experience elsewhere when EVERYTHING is factored in.