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Injuries: Beyond Initial Impact of a Car Accident

Auto InjuriesIt is never fun to be involved in a car accident. What most people discover first-hand is that there is more to deal with than just getting your car repaired.

Often times, there is a physical injury associated with the impact from a car accident, and the severity can range from mild to very severe (i.e. death). Within that spectrum, the pain and discomfort one experiences can range from a few days to a few years, and in some cases, the impact of injuries sustained can last a lifetime.

There are various factors that contribute to the severity of an injury and the amount of time it could take for full recovery:

  • How much force was involved in the impact?
    Generally, the greater the speed of the cars involved, the greater the force of impact, and the more severe the injuries. Of course, there are other factors that can determine the final outcome of the impact, such as, if the car that was hit was also moving, and at what speed; the type of impact: rear, frontal or side. The usage of seat belts and road conditions can also contribute to the severity of impact. On the other hand, someone who was in a mild fender bender may find themselves with a myriad of soft tissue injuries.
  • Were you taken by surprise at the time of impact?
    Some studies indicate a correlation between the severity of an injury and how prepared a person was before actual impact. Most people will seize up their muscles if they are anticipating impact, which can protect the muscle fibers and soft tissue from over-stretching and tearing, thus limiting the level of trauma one sustains from impact.
  • What other health issues or injuries have you had or were you dealing with at the time of the accident?
    The fewer health issues one has to deal with throughout injury recovery, means more of the body’s resources can be directed towards injury healing.
  • Did you seek treatment immediately, versus waiting until the pain was unbearable before seeking medical help?
    The sooner one receives medical attention for injury assessment and treatment, the better one’s chances are for a swifter recovery. The longer one waits for treatment, the longer the body has for injury patterns to set in, and the longer it takes to undo these patterns.

 

The road to recovery can be a long one, and can be impacted by all of the factors mentioned above. Not everyone needs the same kind of help, nor does every respond the same way to the various modalities of treatment that are available (ie. Massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, psychotherapy, medication, etc.).

The important thing to remember is that your health should be your number one priority. Don’t let the issue of finances and time dictate whether or not you seek treatment.

Other articles in the Auto Accidents: Injuries and Treatment series:

Treating Whiplash with Massage (Part 2)
Medical Massage for Auto Injuries (Part 3)

Treating Whiplash with Massage

 

whiplashIn the previous article, we took a look at the various aspects of a car accident that could determine the severity of injuries sustained. In this article we’ll take a closer look at whiplash injuries as a result of a car accident.

Whiplash is a term used to describe a neck injury, in which the neck is thrown forward with great force and then whipped back, causing a sudden lengthening and then contraction of the neck muscles. This type of injury can lead to chronic pain and wreak havoc on one’s life if ignored and left untreated.

Within the first 48 hours of an auto collision, the body’s inflammatory response will kick in, resulting in swelling, pain and stiffness. Headaches and dizziness can also be accompanied with a whiplash injury. Damage to the soft tissues of the neck (muscles, tendons, ligaments) is likely, as well as possible injury to the cervical spine if the impact was severe enough. Over time, if left untreated, pain and stiffness might be experienced in the upper back, extending all the way down to the sacrum. Numbness and tingling in the arms and fingers can also be a result of untreated whiplash injuries.

Massage therapy, when applied in whiplash situations, can help accelerate the healing process and reduce long-term discomfort and pain. Massage can encourage oxygen and nutrient flow to the damaged soft tissue to promote healing. Additionally, when neuromuscular therapy techniques such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy are used, massage can address the pain-spasm-pain cycle that begins with this kind of injury.

If you, or someone you know has been in an auto accident recently, and require treatment for your injuries, check out the third article in this series: Medical Massage for Auto Injuries.

Other Articles in the Auto Accidents: Injuries and Treatment series:

Injuries: Beyond Initial Impact of a Car Accident (Part 1)
Medical Massage for Injuries (Part 3)

 

Medical Massage for Auto Injuries

medical massage for whiplashWhat is Medical Massage?

Medical Massage is result-based massage that addresses specific dysfunction or injuries that have been diagnosed by a medical doctor. A doctor’s prescription is needed in order to bill insurance for payment.

What kinds of dysfunction or injuries are addressed with medical massage?

Soul Workings provides medical massage for those who are suffering from a recent auto-related injury; some common injuries might be whiplash, headaches, neck/shoulder/back pain, numbness or tingling in extremities, etc.

What do I need to do to get medical massage treatments at Soul Workings?

In order to proceed with massage treatment, you must have several things in order:

1) Open Claim with Medical Payment coverage
As of 2009, Colorado requires drivers to have a minimum of $5000 Medical Payments coverage on their auto insurance policy. If you’ve been injured in an accident, the first thing to do is to call your insurance company to open a claim. Assuming you have Medical Payments coverage in your policy, you should receive a letter from your Claims Representative with the following information:

  • Claim number
  • Representative’s contact information
  • Insurance name and billing address

2) Medical doctor’s prescription for massage:

You will need to see your doctor, or go to an Urgent Care facility to be evaluated for extent of your injuries. Doctor’s prescription for massage must address the following:

  • Massage prescription for treatment
  • Diagnosis codes
  • Frequency of massage treatments per week, for a designated period of time (i.e. 6 weeks, 2 months, etc) before re-assessment

3) Call Soul Workings to Schedule Your Appointment

When you have all the information from steps 1 & 2, it’s time to schedule your appointment. Please call our office at 720-352-1782 with the above information ready, so that we can verify your insurance and claim information, and provide you with the necessary paperwork prior to your first visit.

Soul Workings is unable to provide a medical massage session without completed paperwork and insurance verification. If paperwork is not completed, or information is missing, Soul Workings will have to treat the session as a cash session, and payment will be due at the time of service.


Other Articles in the Auto Accidents: Injuries and Treatment series:
Injuries: Beyond Initial Impact of a Car Accident (Part 1)
Treating Whiplash with Massage (Part 2)


Additional Resources:

Flow Chart – What to do After an Accident