Bam! Have you been in a car accident recently? Well, I am going to give you five tips that you should follow after being in a car accident to help make sure that if you’re injured, you get appropriate care and coverage that you deserve. My name is Dr. Isaac Mooberry with Lifetime Wellness & Chiropractic we are here in Denver, Colorado.
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I’ve been in two car accidents and I have used these 5 steps myself.
1. First tip is you want to open up a claim with your own insurance company, regardless if you were at fault or not. You want to communicate with them, let them know what happened. There’s part of the policy if you have not opted out of it, called medical payments options or MedPay, which should allow you to go to any provider, hospital, or urgent care without paying out of your pocket. Utilize that benefit to get checked out without having to take any money out of your own pocket. So that’s medical payments options. Talk to your own insurance company, especially if you were not at fault, this should not impact your premiums.
2. Second tip, you want to make sure that you’re not only just taking pain medication, muscle relaxers, ibuprofen, Tylenol, if you are injured, those things can be helpful in a short period of time. Tylenol can hurt your liver if you take too much of it or take it too frequently. It’s the same thing with Ibuprofen or Aleve or Advil, these go after your kidneys and can impact kidney function. You definitely need those organs to help your body in the future. So take care of them, limit the intake of any of those things if you do need to take those. But there’s a lot of natural ways you can help address your pain as well. See a chiropractor for whiplash, some specialize in soft tissue injury after a motor vehicle collision.
3. Third tip, you want to make sure you get the correct tests done to evaluate your injury. A lot of times if you go to an ER, they’re going to do a CT scan to see if there’s a traumatic brain injury, but they’re not really evaluating the soft tissue injuries, which can actually, for some people, be more significant. So you wanna make sure if you are going to have any sort of testing done, you want to have the soft tissues evaluated. You wanna make sure you’re doing a flexion and extension X-rays. These will tell medical providers that are trained in soft tissue injuries if there is any ligamentous damage. This would be one type of test. Also, having your nervous system checked. Do you have any numbness or tingling? Do you have a decrease in sensation or weakness?
Do you want to try something on your own? Use this resource here that has stretches and exercises you can try HERE.
Weakness anywhere in your body with your hands or your legs or your feet. Those are signs that there is a neurologic impairment. But the reason why you want to make sure you have the right test done is so you can get the right type of care to help your body recover. It’s not just about the pain, it’s about getting your body to recover and heal so you don’t have problems that pop up a year, two years or more down the road from that car accident or whiplash. Chiropractic for whiplash is very helpful for soft tissue damage and recovery.
4. Fourth tip, is to make sure you get evaluated by a healthcare provider that specializes in soft tissue injuries to the muscles, to the ligaments, to the nervous system, and that would be somebody like a chiropractor. The number of providers who actually specialize in soft tissue injuries is pretty small. Especially whiplash after a car accident that knows how to work with the system of auto insurance or with attorneys to help your body heal.
5. Fifth tip, is it takes time. Okay, it takes time for your body to heal. Just for an example, there’s three grades of sprains and strains. Mild, moderate, severe. On the mild side, it might take six weeks or longer for your body to heal to get you back to where you were before the injury. Six weeks would be like a minimum threshold and it could take longer. Moderate is going to be12 weeks or longer. Severe is going be potentially six months or even longer than that, and severe is when you’ve torn something pretty much completely or all the way. So it is a very significant injury.
But healing takes time. And it’s not just a matter of the symptoms, but it’s also how your body’s functioning. If you can get back to your activities of daily living, like washing your hair, doing your job if you had to sit at a computer all day, eye strain or traumatic brain injury issues, all these things come into play. It’s not just a matter of neck pain or back pain or headaches. There’s all these different functions that you need to be able to have in order to be able to live your life, to get back to your hobbies, and activities as well.
So I hope this has been helpful. In review, the five items are: First is to file a claim with your insurance company or at least chat with them, get an idea if that would be the right thing for you to do. Second, make sure you also get healthcare, that’s not just gonna be medications or pills, they mask your problem. You need something that’s addressing your soft tissues and the nervous system to help your body heal and recover. Third is to get the correct testing done. Some people might need a CT scan, some people might need an MRI. Some people may also need X-ray, they all can show different parts of an injury. Fourth, make sure you get evaluated by a healthcare provider who specializes in dealing with auto accident soft tissue injuries. Fifth, is to be patient with yourself because it takes time for your body to heal.
I hope that’s helpful. If you have any questions, please reach out.
Want more help schedule an appointment with Dr. Isaac HERE.