Every Chiropractor is very different in their approach to treating car accident injuries. This is a good thing because not every injury is exactly same and every ones body differs in how they respond to care. The following are things that I tell my friends, family, and out of state patients to look for when looking for a chiropractor out of state and what you should be looking for following a car accident.
1. Do they have a technique (how they treat you) that is best for your body and your specific injuries? Again, remember what I stated above. Not all chiropractors do things the same way and not all ways will work for your individual body or your individual injuries. So how do you know? First off if you are queasy AT ALL about the "snap, crackle, pop" that comes from a hands on treatment, then that is not right for you, and you need a more gentle treatment like the Proadjuster or the activator. Next, if you have ever received a "deep tissue" massage and been worse afterwards then a heavier chiropractic treatment is not for you.
2. Do they have a way of analyzing your ENTIRE body and all of the injuries that you had while in your car accident? Yes, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. It is important to assess you as a whole, because we are one big connected chain. Something that I see quite often when I am examining a patient who has been in a car accident is that the foot that they had on the brake pedal was affected. Its important that this is found and addressed. Something in your shoulders because of the seat belt could give you head aches. So, ask if they have a way to assess your feet such as digital scans of the foot, do they have ways to look at your arms and shoulders? Now it may not be necessary to do all of these tests on every person, but it is important that they have the ability to.
3. Does the chiropractor continue his education above and beyond the "required" hours to renew their license? The health care field is changing on a daily basis. New research is coming out all the time, and if every chiropractor does not stay up to date on what is new in the field of automobile injuries then they are not giving their patients the best care available. Every chiropractor in the United States has to have a certain number of continuing education each year. What I have found is that this amount is far less than what is necessary to keep up to date.
4. Do they do rehabilitation or prescribe exercises? This is a vital component to getting better following a car accident. I tell my patients all the time "I can put you back together all day long, but until your muscles can hold you there you are going to have ongoing problems". This does not have to be complex, but it does have to be a part of getting you better.
Make sure that when you are searching for a physician following your car accident that you ask these questions.
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Dr. Michael Weir is the clinic director at Bellevue Whiplash Center at Back in Action Chiropractic. We will also be hosting a variety of relevant guest bloggers to help you understand your injuries better.