I'll say what we all are thinking: car accidents suck. Even minor "fender benders" cause injury. To add insult to the injury, they consume your time and your energy. From following up on your claim to having to leave your car in the shop, they make day to day life more difficult.
Let's talk about those injuries. They can range from minor aches and pains to serious and life threatening. A recent study showed an average of 3.4 million emergency room visits for car crashes every year. But minor aches and pains may go unchecked by primary care providers. Doctors may even tell you they'll go away on their own with rest and time. Some of the time, that's true. Other times, those pains can hang around for 3, 6, even 12 months after the accident. In either case, early treatment of minor injuries is impactful to your long term health. Research shows us one of the most important risk factors for injury is previous injury.
Chiropractors specialize in treating musculoskeletal injuries like the ones suffered in auto accidents. Many chiropractors can treat auto accident low back pain or whiplash. Searching the web for "auto injury chiropractor near me" or "car accident chiro near me" will get you plenty of names. But how do you find the right one for you? Read on for help making the right choice for you.
After being in a car accident, you may suffer from various injuries, including:
- neck pain
- back pain
- sprained ligaments
- strained muscles
- muscle spasms
Many of these injuries do not show up on a standard x-ray. To get the best outcomes, you'll need the right treatment for the injury. To get the right treatment, you need the right examination and diagnosis. That process is very different from one chiropractor to the next. Take the time to ask about their process to make sure you get the exam you need for the results you want.
But who should you contact to ask those questions? Here are some extra tips you should consider:
Talk to the people you know, like, and trust and ask who they know, like, and trust. Ask people like your family, your friends, your co-workers, or your medical providers. Who do they know or who would they go to in a similar situation? That's a good place to start. You'll still need to do your own research, but it could be very helpful in narrowing down your list.
Visit The Practice's Website
When visiting a practice's website, there are a couple things you can be on the lookout for. First, see if they mention treating auto injuries or car accidents. Second, learn more about the practice. From their approach, to their team, the services offered, and even contact information. Being able to request an appointment on the site is also a plus!
Also take some time to look beyond the general practice information. Does the site have any blogs or service pages about treating injuries suffered in a car accident? It's important to know you're working with a doctor who's done it before. And not only have they done it, but they've delivered results.
The Power of Crowdsourcing
You've already asked the people you know, like, and trust. Now, see what the rest of the world thinks of the practice you're considering. This is important to think about because no two chiropractic practices are the same. And what matters to one person may not matter to another. Looking at reviews will give you the chance to see what others have experienced. Then you can decide if those things matter to you.
When looking at reviews, look at the whole picture. Do the reviews only talk about results? Or do they mention their overall experience? Are you seeing words like "kind", "comfortable", "attentive", "responsive" when describing their interactions?
A Patient-Centered Focus
Injuries are scary and uncertain things. Add in the complexity of an accident, and it can almost feel like too much to take on by yourself. That's why it is so important to find a chiropractor who is a great communicator. Someone who listens to you and your story. Someone who takes the time to answer your questions. Someone who helps explain their findings and recommendations in easy to understand language. Someone who looks beyond pain relief to help you live a happy, healthy life.
Your chiropractor (and their team) should be part of your team. They should be willing and able to collaborate with your team of medical providers. With auto injuries can come litigation. You need a practice that can work with your attorney -- or recommend one for you if you don't have one.
Honesty and Transparency On Cost
The cost of chiropractic care can vary from one chiropractic practice to the next. You need to know what to expect from treatment and how much that is going to cost. Your chiropractor's office should be comfortable discussing their fees with you.
Besides the cost of your care, you'll need to know how that care is being paid for. There's more than one way this can happen:
- The other driver. If someone else was at fault for the accident, they may be responsible for at least some of your expenses. Talk with your car insurance agent and, if necessary, an attorney for advice on how to receive payment.
- Your health and auto insurance. Take a look at your policies and talk to your insurance providers to get clear on which policy covers what. Some injuries may be covered by health insurance. Others may be covered by your auto insurance's Personal Injury Protection (PIP). You will also want to ask about what percentage of expenses will be covered, and if there are any maximums that apply. Ask if your chiropractor is in-network with your insurance plans. Find out what expenses you will need to pay yourself (deductibles, copays, etc). If you are worried about the cost of your care, ask if the chiropractic office has self-pay options.
Choosing the right chiropractor for your car accident injuries doesn't have to be a pain. A few small tips can make the process much less stressful. Start by asking the people you know, like, and trust for recommendations. Look at what others have to say about the offices you're considering. Learn what services they offer and treatments they provide. Investing the time up front will pay off big time in the long run.
Capital Sports Medicine helps the residents of Silver Spring and Montgomery County live happy, healthy lives -- even if they've failed traditional approaches. If you are suffering from pain or injuries from an auto accident, let us help you! Contact us for more information or request an appointment today!