Who to Visit after a Car Accident? Is Chiropractor Care the Best Choice?

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Usually, all of us suffer from back or neck pain started on its own and vanishes after sometimes with or without treatment. In normal circumstances, it is not necessary to see a doctor; however, a trip to the chiropractor or orthopedic doctor is probably a good idea if you have pain after a car accident or fall.

First of all, when you face a traumatic experience, you may struggle to figure out things to do next, especially if a car accident has lead to minor injuries and pain. But no matter how minor a crash is, you should always visit the doctor for proper evaluation and treatment as early as possible.

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Best Types of Doctors to Visit after a Car Accident

Usually, your PCP does not treat auto accident injury, so you call your friends for help or start online search ‘car accident injury chiropractor near me’. The type of doctor you visit depends on the extent and severity of your injuries.

You may need to see a(n):

  • Primary care/urgent care physician
  • Emergency room doctor
  • Medical specialists– surgeon, neurologist or psychiatrist

Let’s dig in the right!

Urgent Care Doctor

If you do not get life-threatening injuries after a crash, you must get examined by your PCP as soon as possible. You could drive yourself to the clinic to get treated. Likewise, if your injuries are severe and can wait long enough to schedule an appointment, you should call your urgent care doctor to seek recommendations. 

Emergency Room Doctor

Life-threatening injuries are serious and should be addressed right away. You will need to see a doctor in the ER, so its better to call 911 (ambulance) at the scene of the accident. Do not delay visiting an emergency room. An ER doctor is also your best option if a crash happens late at night––they are available at any time of the night.

Medical Specialist

In some cases, your PCP may refer you to a specialist such as a chiropractor or orthopedic for additional testing or treatment. This happens because you need surgeries or specific procedures that only specialists can perform. 

  • Follow all instructions given by your urgent care doctor. If they ask you to visit a specialist, do it as soon as possible.
  • Understand your treatment directions
  • Ask questions and listen to your doctor carefully, so you don’t put yourself at increased risk

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What Does a Chiropractor Do?

A chiropractor will first perform your physical examination for detecting injuries after an accident. Also, they take a medical history of a patient for diagnostic imaging procedures to determine if treatment is safe for the neck or back pain.

Their treatment plan may include manual adjustments, in which case the doctor manipulates the joints by using hands, using a controlled force, to improve your range of motion. 

Moreover, chiropractors prefer to incorporate physical activities/exercise and nutritional counseling into their chiropractic care treatment plan. 

Importance of Chiropractic Care after a car accident 

As you know, we cannot move if our musculoskeletal system (that provides physical stability) is injured. To treat this, we need proper chiropractic care. The benefits are:

  • Better posture
  • Improved flexibility
  • Relief from headaches
  • Prevention of joint injuries
  • Improved back and neck movement
  • Relief from neck and back pain
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Relief of pregnancy-related backache
  • Correction of foot problems
  • reduce digestive problems
  • reduce blood pressure
  • boost immunity
  • improve sleep
  • kid’s ear infections
  • and helps brings natural recovery

Chiropractors don’t only treat neck and back pain, but they are musculoskeletal experts which mean they are trained in assessing, diagnosing, preventing, and treating biomechanical disorders that result after an accident. 

Moreover, chiropractors provide better lifestyle counseling about physical and mental fitness, which further helps prevent and manage various health issues. 

Risk Involved In Chiropractic Adjustment

After chiropractic treatment, you may get 

  • discomfort in the treated parts
  • temporary headaches
  • nausea
  • fatigue after treatment

These adverse reactions usually last 24 hours or more. However, in rare conditions, a person may get 

  • Herniated discs
  • Pinched nerves in the spine 
  • Stroke

If you notice any of the above reactions, tell your doctor immediately. However, these complications are more likely to occur when you visit an inexperienced or unlicensed chiropractor for the treatment. So be careful when choosing the right doctor.

Chiropractic Care Red Flags

  • Severe osteoporosis 
  • Osteomyelitis (spinal bone infection)
  • Multiple myeloma 
  • Bone tumors (may or may not be cancerous)
  • Paget’s disease 

The reason why chiropractors ask for patient’s medical history because there are a few treatments that may not suit them; therefore, doctors may require to alter the treatment plan accordingly––chiropractors called it “red flags.” 

In simple words, conditions related to unstable joints is known as a red flag, including

  • Psoriatic arthritis (inflammatory arthritis)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Reactive arthritis 
  • Ankylosing spondylitis

Even a minor structural instability can indicate a red flag. Likewise, if a chiropractor is untrained or inexperienced to carry out the treatment, it is called a red flag. 

Things to consider when searching a Chiropractor and Orthopedic doctor

If this is your first-time experience of finding a specialists, you must follow the steps given below: 

  • Get a referral from a trusted source such as relatives, friends, colleagues, family doctors. 
  • Learn about symptoms that call for an emergency visit.
  • Consider osteopath instead.

Moreover, you should consider reading the specialist’s website, social media pages, discussion forums that have authentic patient reviews. 

Ask questions:

Once you find your doctor, don’t forget to ask him the following questions. 

  • How many years of experience do you have treating my condition?
  • What are your qualifications?
  • Do you practice a specialty?
  • What type of diagnostic testing required?
  • How many visits to the clinic should I make per week? 
  • How soon the treatments recover my illness?

Furthermore, you will need to consider

  1. Is the doctor friendly? 
  2. Does he have good communication skills?
  3.  Does he listen to your concerns carefully?
  4. Does he answer all your queries? 
  5. Do you feel comfortable interacting with him?

Questions related to the clinic’s processes to patient care include:

  • Does the clinic offer a list of health care specialists with whom they work? 
  • Does the clinic recommend a treatment plan in writing? 
  • What is the average wait time? 

Final thoughts

If you have an injury or chronic pain that needs the treatments by a musculoskeletal expert, you must choose between visiting the chiropractor’s clinic or an orthopedic hospital. The goal of both doctors is to relieve your pain and illness that occurred after a car accident– they treat similar conditions. However, understanding the differences between these two medical specialists can really benefit you in the decision-making process.

Even if you feel no pain or injury, it’s still essential to seek a proper medical evaluation within 24hours of a car crash. Many injuries take time to appear, so only a trained and licensed doctor can determine these minor issues. 

Thank you for reading!

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