Accidents are part of life. You can get injured on the job, in a car accident or just walking the dog. Having access to a great chiropractor can make the world of difference between being in pain for extended periods of time or getting back to your normal activities. Learn what to expect for accident chiropractic care in your area of Aumsville or Salem, Oregon.
If you aren’t familiar with how a chiropractic clinic helps to alleviate pain and improve your physical condition, you may be a little skeptical about how beneficial it can be. But, using various hands-on spinal manipulations along with massage and treatment aids, chiropractors have very high success rates in treating many patients with soft tissue injuries.
Types of Accidents That Chiropractic Care Helps
While chiropractors often work with patients on a health and wellness plan to maintain an active lifestyle, they are most known for injury rehabilitation. The most common injuries chiropractors work with come from four main types of accidents: auto accidents, sports injuries, workers’ compensation injuries and lifestyle injuries.
One of the most common events that triggers chiropractic care is a motor vehicle accident. Even minor fender benders have enough force at impact to cause soft tissue injuries. Whiplash is caused by the initial impact, airbag deployment or pulling against the seat belt as your momentum continues to move forward. Whiplash may not be apparent immediately after the accident; it is common to have delayed pain up to 48 hours after a collision.
Neck pain, back pain, overall body stiffness and headaches are common whiplash symptoms for car accident victims. The sooner you can address the muscle spasms, misalignment and muscle strains the sooner you will recover. This treatment is covered by auto insurance either under general liability or medical payments coverage.
Commonly reported injuries that competitive and weekend athletes seek therapy for include back problems, muscle sprains and strains. Along with common modalities including rest, ice, compression and elevation, many sports injuries benefit from chiropractic care. Depending on the injury and stage or rehabilitation, chiropractic adjustments can help to reduce muscle spasms, increase flexibility and assist in breaking up scar tissue through therapeutic adjustments.
Once healed, regular chiropractic care helps maintain muscle balance to reduce chances of reinjuring the area. It is easier to prevent injuries from coming back than needing to go through physical therapy regularly.
Workers’ Compensation Injuries
Workers’ compensation claims can include a variety of work injury scenarios. Ranging from things as serious as a worker falling from scaffolding and injuring his spine to a clerk developing a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Chiropractors are able to assist with these and many other types of workers’ compensation claims.
Many workers’ compensation insurance policies cover chiropractic care for rehabilitation and to get workers back to the job sooner than later. If you are unsure as to whether or not your injury is something a chiropractor can help with, it’s worth taking a consultation to determine it. Chiropractors bill the workers’ compensation insurance provider so injured workers’ have nothing to lose to get a consultation.
Injuries can happen anywhere doing just about anything. There are patients that show up for chiropractic care because they tweaked their neck rolling over in their sleep. Romping with the kids or having your new adopted dog drag you down the street can all result in injuries. While most are minor, getting things back to normal as soon as possible reduced the chances of further injury and dealing with extended periods of non-activity. Get back to those touch football games with your friends sooner with chiropractic care.
Some injuries like tweaking your neck while sleeping are a direct result of muscle imbalances that cause vertebrae to be pulled slightly out of their normal sitting position. The result is minor nerve pinches that lead to pain and stiffness. This can be fixed with a quick chiropractic adjustment. Other injuries that involve muscle strains benefit from increased circulation and a reduction in muscle spasms through professional chiropractic care.
Typical Injuries Treated in Chiropractic Centers
If you hear the term chiropractor and automatically think about back pain doctors, you are in good company. Most people think of back pain when talking about going to a chiropractor because they are spine doctors. Chiropractors are there to alleviate back pain and so much more.
What are the major causes of back and body pain?
Here are the underlying injuries associated with body pain and how chiropractors help:
A car crash is the number one cause of whiplash but isn’t the only cause. Any jarring of your head that causes body momentum to stop moving in one direction and jolt back in the opposite direction can lead to the soft tissue injury. Chiropractors are the top medical treatment source for whiplash after car accident injuries to alleviate pain and reduce further neck injury.
Sports, car accidents, and falls can all lead to concussions. Most of these are not reported even though they are mild traumatic brain injuries that result in cognitive problems such as impaired memory, speaking issues, and overall mental function. Keep in mind that all prospective brain trauma should be properly diagnosed with CT scans and MRI diagnostics to properly identify the issue.
Once identified, a chiropractor trained to deal with brain injuries and concussions will work together with primary medical providers to manage the dizziness, headaches, confusion and other symptoms with small adjustments along the cervical vertebrae.
Herniated discs happen when the fluid-filled disc in between the vertebrae pushes out of its normal space. The push compresses nerves and can also lead to wear on vertebrae that no longer have adequate cushioning or space between the joint bones. Nerve pain, muscle atrophy, weakness, and numbness are the result. Without treatment, long-term disability becomes the concern as the unremedied condition worsens over time leading to chronic pain.
Chiropractors evaluate herniated disc by both reviewing spinal x-rays as well as feeling along the grooves of the spine to see where the herniation is and what vertebraes could be contributing to the offset of balance. Essentially, with targeted manipulation, the herniated disc is slipped back into place with the culprit vertebrae and muscles reset to alleviate the problem. A good maintenance and exercise program integrated after remedying a herniated disc helps prevent re-injury as part of a long-term wellness program.
Sciatica occurs when the spinal nerve root gets compressed in the lower back, the result is nerve pain that can extend from the back and hip running straight down the lateral side of the leg. This is a debilitating injury that often leads to mobility issues. Patients exercise less exacerbating the issue in a spiral of problems including weight gain that puts more pressure on the nerve root, reducing mobility and increasing the problem.
Since sciatica is caused by nerve compression, the solution is to decompress the area. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation along with TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), ice and ultrasound therapy as the treatment modalities to alleviate sciatica pain and prevent it from returning.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered an overuse injury and chronic condition where pressure within the wrist compresses the median nerve. The result is inflammation, blood flow obstruction, mobility issues and pain. By alleviating the pressure in the wrists, the potential long-term damage to nerves can be lessened if not reversed. Chiropractic manipulation with a wellness program works to remove the pressure, decrease swelling and invigorate healthy blood flood throughout the forearm, wrist and hands.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Accidents and injuries lead to pain, cessation of life activities, and often an increase in pain medications or even alcohol consumption. After an accident, chiropractic care is an attractive option of many patients who don’t want to go down the traditional medication routes.
Here are seven benefits of chiropractic care after sustaining injuries in an accident:
- Drug Free Treatment: alleviate pain without over-the-counter or prescription pain medication.
- Non-Invasive Treatment: precise and accurate manipulation of the spine and joints helps prevent the need to undergo surgery.
- Reduce Inflammation: increased circulation away from soft tissue injuries moves inflammation fluids away from the afflicted area and allows restorative nutrients in.
- Improve Range of Motion: with swelling reduction and proper alignment, the range of motion of injured joints improves and is often restored.
- Reduce Scar Tissue: prevent adhesions and the building of scar tissue resulting from immobility during the healing process after an injury or accident.
- Alleviate Body Pain: medical doctors will address known injuries seen on x-rays and MRI scans even though the entire body may become stiff and sore after an accident. Chiropractic care addresses the whole body to speed up healing and returning to normal activities.
- Limits Long-Term Injury Issues: just addressing pain with medications doesn’t always address the real injury that can create bigger problems over time if left unaddressed. Chiropractic care helps eliminate the need for over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Using Insurance for Chiropractic Care After Accidents
One of the reasons many people don’t get chiropractic care is they believe it isn’t a covered service through their insurance companies. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. According to the American Chiropractic Association, nearly 87 percent of all U.S. workers are covered for chiropractic services via their health insurance policies. Even the IRS considers chiropractic care a valid medical deduction when itemizing your taxes return.
If the issue isn’t whether insurance covers chiropractic care, why do so many people think it isn’t a covered service?
Billing Insurance or Getting Reimbursed
All medical providers have the option to become part of the network and bill insurance carriers for services directly or to have patients pay the bill and seek reimbursement. Dealing with insurance companies and billing codes is one of the most confusing things in the medical field – some might think there is a better chance of understanding every facet of the human brain before understanding health insurance billing.
In an effort to remain affordable and reduce overhead, many chiropractors elect to collect payment and have the insured patient get reimbursed. While this is slightly more work for the patient, the result is more reliable billing that keeps costs down across many parts of the chiropractic practice.
Post Auto Accident or Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claims
If you are going to the chiropractor after an auto accident or resulting from a work injury, you won’t have to worry about your insurance being billed or getting reimbursed during recovery. Chiropractors often coordinate benefits with car insurance, legal representation and workers’ compensation administrators to get patients the needed treatment and bill the responsible party through the claim or lawsuit.
This means you will go to the chiropractor who will collect the information about the responsible party. You will sign a waiver to ensure that if the insurance company pays you directly for some reason without paying the chiropractic first, that you will use the proceeds to pay him. In most cases, claims are paid directly to the chiropractic center as they continue to document the incident and injury healing progress.
Getting Post Accident Medical Care
Any traumatic accident with injuries should always seek immediate medical attention. Of course, there are auto accidents or other incidents where the injuries are not always immediately seen. Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash are sometimes referred to as “invisible injuries” because even if you have x-rays, you aren’t always able to see anything wrong.
On top of it, many accident victims have diagnosed injuries but have other areas of their body stiff and sore. This makes recovery all the more difficult. Working with a chiropractor will not only help with overall pain and stiffness after an accident, it will also help resolve those invisible injuries and undiagnosed issues caused by the accident.
What to Expect in Post Accident Chiropractic Care
Going to the chiropractor for the first time might make you a bit nervous. You may have heard about awkward positions, joint cracking and manipulations. It can sound overwhelming and a bit scary for someone who has just been in an accident and is already in pain. Expect both pain management through spinal manipulation and massage therapy modalities.
Rest assured that your chiropractor is a board certified trained professional with one goal, to make you feel better in the recovery process. This doesn’t start with cracking your back; it starts with sitting down and getting to know you and what brought you in. Your chiropractor will perform an extensive intake similar to what you would have at your primary care physician’s office as he assesses your overall body health – even if you came in just for whiplash.
The Intake at Your First Visit
Like any medical professional, your chiropractor needs to know your full medical history to safely treat you. This includes standard things like height, weight and blood pressure but also includes allergies, long-term health issues or inherited conditions such as arthritis or diabetes. Your chiropractor will sit with you and review your history and ask you about your recent accident or pain that brought you in. The more detailed you can be, the better the chiropractor can develop an injury rehabilitation plan in conjunction with a wellness and pain management plan.
This is also the time to explain to your chiropractor any concerns you have about getting adjusted. Believe it or not, many chiropractors are able to help with modern tools that are less aggressive the your traditional manipulations. Most will agree that the hands-on approach is preferable but will use other modes for clients comfort. The goal is pain relief and health, not fear and more pain.
What Adjustments Feel Like
Spinal adjustments and manipulations should never hurt or cause pain. The moment the chiropractor pops a joint may be slightly alarming the first or second time but this shouldn’t hurt. It is important to remain relaxed and breath. This helps prevent muscle spasms and further alignment issues. Breathing also brings oxygen-rich blood to painful or injured areas to nourish and heal.
After a visit to the chiropractic clinic, you should feel better though the adjustment can cause some deep muscle swelling. This is not abnormal in accident cases and is treated with ice, elevation and compression. If you experience any additional pain, contact your chiropractor to discuss it. As your injury heals and you become more accustomed to spinal adjustments, you will become more aware of nuances in your posture or minor tensions in your back. This awareness helps you know when you need a maintenance adjustment.
Time to Schedule an Appointment
Most chiropractors are able to fit a new patient with modified office hours convenient for a busy schedule. If you explain that you have just had an accident, whether an auto accident or workers’ compensation injury, the office staff will do its best to accomodate you sooner than later. Schedule the visit and plan to be there for 60-90 minutes for the first appointment. Arrive early to complete the intake paperwork.
In Salem, Oregon and the surrounding areas, Dr. John-Paul Whitmire and his team are dedicated to helping you get back to healthy living again as soon as possible. He is a board-certified chiropractor that works with men, women, pregnant women and children. His pediatric chiropractic treatment plans help children with various conditions like sports injuries or ADHD. There is no time like today to start feeling better and make an appointment with the Whitmire Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic.
This is the best experience I have had with a chiropractor. The doctor explained everything he was doing very thoroughly and professionally and helped me to understand why I was experiencing certain aches and pains and how I could alleviate those using massage and stretching techniques on my own. I felt comfortable and safe in this clean and friendly environment and will definitely be back for weekly follow up! I already feel so much better after my first appointment today. Highly recommend Dr. Whitmire and is team at the clinic!
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