With so much fraud in the state of Florida and the insurance rates rising, it’s no wonder that people are wary of the motives of healthcare after you’re involved in an accident. However, make no mistake, an accident is traumatic mentally, financially and physically. If you shy away from pharmaceutical drugs for painkillers or if you want to explore therapy and understand what it can do for you then this is the post you’ll want to read. So buckle up, because we’re going to go down an educational lane.
Our current system for care after someone has suffered an accident is about as stressful as the event itself. Not only are you injured but now you’re flooded with questions about what to do next. Your mind is blurred, any previous injuries have been exacerbated. The current system has first responders in an ambulance arrive on the scene. In some cases, it is needed but in many cases it is not. You are disoriented and angry, confused or scared and you might take the ride which will set you back $600-$1000 depending on the injury. If your insurance covers it, this will start being deducted from your cost of care once you file a claim. With one visit to the E.R. the $10,000 that you’re told you’ll receive will be gone in no time and you won’t have additional coverage for extended therapy.
Now you’re stuck in bed with terrible pain in your neck, back or who knows where else. You have to file a claim with your auto insurance company that will most likely punish you in the future with increased rates due to this accident. Another drop in the bucket. You’ve been given percocet or a similar drug and told to rest at home. If you have a job, your boss grows impatient by each day that you miss work. If you have children that depend on you, additional help needs to be recruited. You’ve been assigned a therapy place that specializes in accident care and now have to drive or be transported to this clinic. You’re placed in sub-par care where you are told that you must come in for three times a week for an hour each day for therapy. Electrical pads that have never been cleaned are placed on you by a medical assistant that tells you to sit still and leaves you being electrified for 20-30 min or so in a cold room and on a stiff bed. You might have company though, as these pain clinics have a variety of patients that they’re working on simultaneously and you can share your woeful stories with each other.
If you’re lucky, which most people are not, you’ll find a true therapist of the following:
Thee two are the super hero pair that you’ll need to recover from muscular injuries. If you’ve broken a bone , you’ll visit an orthopedic surgeon or if you’ve (God forbid) received head trauma to the point of a coma then you’ll have to take strong intervention. The care I’m discussing in this post is for those that have suffered an accident where the injuries are related to muscle tissue, tendon and ligaments and yes it hurts like crazy and can render you helpless.
A Word on Chiropractic
A decade ago Chiropractors reigned supreme in the world of car accidents. They set their foot down to get medical recognition by the public and gosh darn it, they got it. To understand chiropractic work is to appreciate the nervous system not the bones of your body. Yes, bones are manipulated but it’s to get those nerves “flowing” their current and sending appropriate signals for the function of organs and muscles among other vital systems. Sound pretty important right? It is and can be of great help as long as you understand that your body needs more than just chiropractic for recovery. You have a complex human body and have to treated with holistic care, not plopped down on a stiff medical table with a heating pad and electrodes and then placed a rolling massage bed and left alone. There are wonderful chiropractors out there, in every profession there are good and bad of every thing you just need to know the right ones to work with.
Here’s a review of what you may use if you want to use therapy for your post accident pain and believe me, you’ll want to use it. If you have a claim, you have funds that will be used. Don’t be bullied or pressured into being assigned terrible pain clinics that will bleed you dry financially and give you minimum care so they will get paid, it does happen. So the following list is who does what:
Ortho doctor: pain pills anyone? this is your guy (or gal) This is the doctor to prescribe meds if you need them. Just be responsible and don’t use them as a crutch. The goal is to wean them off. This is also the doctor that will refer you to therapy depending on your insurance.
Physical Therapist: my man! (or lady) these guys and gals will PUMP YOU UP (#retrofitness). They’re responsible for strengthening your muscles which is absolutely necessary, especially if you’ve been lying in bed for awhile. They will also focus on safe exercises to do at home after your sessions. Pro tip: hire a P.T. that focuses on sports medicine and has a good reputation. A clinic that is run by a P.T. or managed by one is best.
Massage Therapist (aka: muscle angels) and my personal favorite. M.T.s are responsible for release muscular tension. When you’re in an accident, you brace yourself, when you have impact the brain considers this a trauma. Then the brain sends a signal to your muscles via your nerves that say “contract!” The problem is, your muscles stay contracted and never release. This can be incredibly painful. Enter the soothing ways of massage therapists. We are the muscle whispers that soften muscle tissue which sends a signal to brain saying “trauma is over, you can relax now”.
For the sake of your attention span I won’t delve into other therapies like cupping and acupuncture. Simply know there is a world of healing practitioners out here that truly care and are capable of giving you rock star care once you locate them. Begin building your list now of doctors and therapists you love and the day you or a loved has a misfortune, you’ll be glad you did.
Michelle Orchid Rodriguez is an entrepreneur,wellness lifestyle blogger and a Licensed Massage Therapist. Her mission is to promote a higher quality of life through healthy living. She is the founder and CEO of Lumina Massage Inc., a Miami-based specialty massage company that focuses on neuromuscular therapy and prenatal bodywork.