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What Happens If I’m in a Motor Vehicle Accident- Part 2

Where do I begin?

It happened.  The first step is to talk to the auto insurance company.  If you plan to utilize coverage for your medical bills related to the accident, you must create a claim.

If you are at-fault for the accident, it is important to find out if you have bodily injury coverage through your own insurance. Please note, coverage for medical care for the at-fault driver is not standard on an insurance policy.  We encourage everyone to review their policies to ensure the driver is protected and has coverage.

If the other party is at-fault, you need to acquire their insurance information.  Call and find out if a claim has already been filed or if you need to create one.  If the other driver does not have insurance, contact your auto insurance company.

 

Schedule an appointment.

If you are new to Body Logic or have not received care in the last 6-12 months, you will need to schedule a new patient appointment.  Please inform our receptionist that the reason you are seeking care is because of a motor vehicle accident.  We will provide instructions to help you be prepared for your upcoming appointment.

If you are a current patient at Body Logic, call and inform our office of the accident before your next appointment.  Our doctors need enough time in the first appointment after the accident to perform an examination.  We want to ensure you receive the necessary attention.  And we do not want to disrupt other patients’ care.

After you have scheduled an appointment, we will email you a link to fill out an intake form.  There are special instructions to ensure the intake form is filled out properly for an auto-injury.  Following these instructions is essential for us to collect the appropriate information to best support your case.

 

What information do I need ready to provide?

We understand it can be overwhelming after being in a car accident.  Providing as much information as possible will help the process go smoothly.  The following information is needed for our office to file your medical bills properly:

  • Auto insurance information of the party responsible for paying your medical bills
  • Claim number
  • Claim adjuster’s name and contact information
  • Attorney’s name and contact information, if legal action is being taken
  • Health insurance information
    • If Body Logic is in-network with your health insurance, we are required to file claims through them first.

 

What paperwork do I need to fill out?

Once at the office for your appointment, there are a handful of additional forms that need to be completed.  Please allot an extra 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to complete the following paperwork:

  • Motor Vehicle Accident Information Form
  • Authorization Request to Receive and Release Records
  • Patient Record Access Permission
  • Consent to Treatment
  • Financial Policy Agreement
  • Irrevocable Lien
  • Assignment of Benefits
  • HIPAA Notice of Privacy

 

Start Feeling Better!

Once the initial examination and paperwork is completed, it’s time to focus on you!  The doctors will create a treatment plan tailored to your personal condition and situation.  Treatment will include a number of different modalities, such as electrical muscle stimulation or stretches and exercises, and adjustments.  Appointment frequency is based on the doctors recommendations.  Periodically, a progress examination will be performed.  The assessment provides objective information regarding your condition and the progress of healing.  This takes time.  Refer to the prior motor vehicle accident article to review the stages of healing after trauma.  We will work together as a team to provide the best care possible as your body heals.   It is our goal to reduce pain and restore function to the body.

Now What?

Once your body has reached what’s called “maximum clinical improvement” treatment ends- related to the motor vehicle accident.  The doctors complete and compile all the clinical notes related to your case.  The additional paperwork is gathered and an invoice is printed.  The paperwork is then forwarded to either your attorney, if there is litigation involved, or the insurance company responsible for paying.  And we wait for the claim to be processed.

Whether or not you were a patient prior to the accident, we always recommend you continue with chiropractic care to maintain your spinal health and integrity.  Just like going to the dentist to ensure your teeth are healthy, visiting your chiropractor to ensure your spine is healthy is important for overall health.  At Body Logic, we enjoy long-term relationships with our patients to help them move better, feel better, and live better!

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What Happens If I’m in a Motor Vehicle Accident- Part 1

It can happen…  You’re sitting at a red light and suddenly the car behind you rear-ends your vehicle.  Or you’re on the highway and a car cuts you off and brakes suddenly, and you’re not able to brake in time.  Or you’re driving on a back country road and the driver coming from the other direction veers into your lane putting you in a ditch to avoid a head-on collision.  It happens.  But you don’t have to suffer for it!

Dr. Amanda was recently in a car accident- and thankfully walked away with the primary damage endured by the car.  However, the physical response to injury was impactful on daily life.  And dealing with the insurance company brought light to the challenge it can be to navigate coverage, benefits, and how it applies to you and your situation.

In an effort to help others, we’re putting together a two-part series of articles to provide insight and advice when you’ve been involved with a motor vehicle accident.  This article will discuss the physical effects that can happen after being in an accident.  Next month’s article will discuss the ins and outs of getting your insurance questions answered.

It happened.

The car accident you weren’t expecting.  Your immediate reaction is to assess the physical condition of yourself, the people in the car, and the car itself.   Adrenaline is pumping causing your senses to be heightened and pain to be suppressed.  If you are severely or critically injured, you’ll be taken by ambulance to the ER.  If you’re injuries are considered “minior,” you’ll most likely be sent home and told to follow up with your physician should any concerns arise.  And now your head is spinning while you’re calling the insurance company. And you’re starting to feel a discomfort… or maybe it’s just the stress?

No matter how small the impact, a motor vehicle accident results in physical injuries to the body.  In serious collisions, life-threatening injuries may be present and addressed at the ER.  However, non-life threatening and non-visible injuries may not be addressed in an emergency situation.  Sometimes the symptoms don’t arise at the initial examination.  Or even until years later!  The delayed manifestation of symptoms is related to the phases of healing… and why it is very important to receive appropriate treatment after an enduring an accident.

The 3 Phases of Healing…

The Reaction Phase occurs in the first 24-72 hours after injury.  The area of injury has a traumatic response including swelling, muscle spasm, and pain and/or guarding.  For serious injuries, these symptoms take place immediately.  Your body is warning you that “something is wrong.”  And it prevents you from further aggravating it by eliciting such symptoms.  In a less traumatic car accident, the symptoms can take up to 48-72 hours to appear.  In these cases, the symptoms are often viewed as less dramatic and are often ignored.  You should never ignore symptoms or changes your body experiences after a motor vehicle accident.  Just because the ER cleared you, does not mean you’re free and clear from all injury.

The Regeneration Phase occurs next as the body lays down new tissue in and around the injured areas.  This phase typically lasts 6-8 weeks.  Depending on the area impacted, scar tissue development can interfere with normal movement patterns.  Even the smallest of changes in proper mechanics, especially in the spine, can lead to long-term dysfunction.  It is essential to address the mechanical changes early to prevent more challenging issues in the future.

The Remodeling Phase lasts the longest, anywhere from 3 to 12 months.  And it can be the most challenging phase.  The tissue is not yet fully repaired at this time.  Reestablishing proper function takes much longer to accomplish than simple pain reduction.  Don’t be fooled by a lack of pain, healing is still taking place for up to a year, or even longer, after a motor vehicle accident.

Why it’s important to seek chiropractic care…

Whether your car accident was yesterday or a few years ago, you should… With a focus on function related to musculoskeletal health, chiropractic care is an ideal treatment option after a motor vehicle accident.  Not only can treatment be provided, chiropractors are trained to identify when referring to another healthcare provider is necessary.  Benefits of seeking chiropractic care include:

  • pain reduction
  • improved range of motion
  • minimizing scar tissue development
  • restoration of faulty mechanics
  • improved nervous system communication
  • strengthening and prevention of future injury to the affected area
  • guidance and referral when necessary

 

The take-home message…

A motor vehicle accident is traumatic to the body, no matter how big or small the impact may be.  The signs and symptoms of injury might not happen instantly.  It’s important to have a chiropractic examination to assess the body’s condition.  The consultation and examination provide insight as to the the best course of treatment.  Even if an accident occurred “a long time ago,” it is encouraged to seek chiropractic care.  The body is amazing and will adapt as long as it can.  Unfortunately, the adaptations aren’t always in the best interest of your musculoskeletal health.  We can help you move better, feel better, and live better!

 

Check out next month’s article that will discuss insurance-related questions regarding a motor vehicle accident.

 

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Keeping Your Hips Happy!

Some of you may not know this… Dr. Amanda will be running the Shamrock Half Marathon on March 22nd.  In honor of her ambitions, we dedicate this month’s newsletter education to the body region that has been the most challenging for her while training… the hips!

“My goal is to finish a half marathon after having kids.  I ran the Flying Pirate half marathon in the OBX 7 years ago.  It was my first half marathon, and I quickly said it would be my last!  And then I had kids… followed by a strong desire to get my body back to the physical shape I was in prior to having kids.  Nate is 2 ½ years old and I’m ready to do this.  The satisfaction of completion is just around the corner, I can feel it.  And I can also feel every mile in my hips.  The aching and gnawing feeling just comes to life at night when I’m trying to relax.  I never felt that type of pain prior to having kids!  But I’m moving forward with my training successfully and I’m looking forward to crossing the finish line.  Included in this newsletter are some tips on what I’ve done for self-care to improve recovery and reduce the discomfort.  Good luck to all the runners… I’ll see you out there!” – Dr. Amanda

Stretching/Yoga

Stretching is an absolute must… for everyone!  But particularly for the running community.  In today’s world, we do a lot of sitting: hips flexed, knees bent, and (often) a slumped posture through the shoulders.  After prolonged sitting, the muscles become accustomed to their position.  This is exactly why when you first stand up you feel stiff.  It is difficult for the body to straighten to an erect posture and can take a few steps before you actually feel upright.  One of the muscles responsible for hip stabilization (keeping your hips square under your torso) is the piriformis muscle.  The piriformis muscle gets weak from excessive sitting. And, in contrast, gets strong, but TIGHT from running.  Although Dr. Amanda has done a lot of different stretches while training, the piriformis stretch has been a staple for helping her hips work through changing from weak to strong and combating the tightness from running.  Doing yoga throughout your training can bring you additional benefit.  Simple stretching is a great way to loosen the muscles, but yoga’s incorporation of a focus on breathing takes it to a whole new level.

Strengthening

One of the biggest mistakes we make when starting an exercise routine is that we go big too quickly.  If you don’t start small, injury is likely to occur.  Hip stabilization exercises are another absolute must to get the proper muscles stronger to perform in an endurance activity, like training for a half marathon.  But it’s important to keep this in mind for the average or de-conditioned person as well.  If you haven’t been exercising regularly, don’t expect to walk 3 miles and feel good.  It’s going to hurt!  Because the muscles that are responsible for hip stabilization are not prepared to work for that length of time.  Small strengthening exercises make the big goals doable.  Here is one of Dr. Amanda’s favorite strengthening exercises for hip stabilization.

Massage

Massage has many benefits for many different reasons.  Returning to running reminded me of muscles Dr. Amanda hadn’t felt in a long time.  She had 3 massages over 3-4 weeks to address those sore muscles.  She was getting comfortable with running 3-4 miles, 3 times per week when she scheduled the massages.  For people that are not natural runners, developing the endurance is challenging when working through the soreness.  The massages improve blood flow through the tight muscles, including areas that are difficult to stretch.  The increase in blood flow brings additional cells that help heal the microtrauma that occurs from pounding the pavement.  It also helps circulate waste out of the muscles like lactic acid.  Dr. Amanda is looking forward to her post-race sports massage!  The stretching incorporated in a sports massage will facilitate recovery and reduce inflammation by circulating the blood better through those sore muscles.

Foam Rolling

Throughout the weeks since getting the massages, Dr. Amanda uses a foam roller 2+ times per week.  It’s a staple in their living room at home!  Foam rolling can be incredibly beneficial to address fascial adhesions that develop as your feet continuously strike the ground.  I roll all 4 sides of the thighs- quadriceps and hip flexors, hamstrings and gluteal muscles, the adductors on the inside, and the abductors and IT Band on the outside.

Water

Generally speaking, hydration is very important for people.  Hydration for runners is even more important.  According to Brigham Health, “Maintaining hydration as a runner is important for health and performance. Water regulates our body temperature, removes waste, helps brings energy to our cells, and cushions our joints. Adequate hydration can improve recovery, minimize injury and cramping, and maximize performance.”  The easiest way to remember how much water to drink in a day is to divide your weight in half.  This equals the number of ounces of water you should drink everyday for the average person.  For the runner, depending on your mileage, you need to increase the amount of water that you drink to restore what was lost in exercise.  And don’t be mistaken, nothing replaces water.  You may enhance it with some additional electrolytes, but it must be water.

Nutritional Supplementation

The nutrient and mineral requirements for the body are barely being met for the average person by today’s food standards.  Our vegetables don’t contain the minerals they once did and our animal protein is being tainted with antibiotics and preservatives our body’s have to process.  Nutritional supplementation of some degree is becoming essential.  For the runner, this couldn’t be more true.  B-vitamins and minerals help support energy production and muscle contraction, respectively.  Omega-3 fatty acids and incredible herbs like Boswellia serrata and turmeric help combat inflammation that comes with putting out the miles.  Dr. Amanda is a big fan of Standard Process and MediHerb supplements.  The whole food nutrition component coupled with the guarantee of high quality just can’t be beat.  Depending on the phase of training and her general health, Dr. Amanda will adapt her regimen to support her body where it needs it most.  Just ask if you want to learn more!

ASEA

As you may have noticed, we’ve begun promoting a product line by ASEA that contains Redox Signaling Molecules.  The purpose of increasing your availability of these amazing molecules is that it promotes cellular healing.  Besides improving recovery time, Dr. Amanda has also experienced improved sleep, better digestion, and increased energy… even with the additional stress of running more than she has in 7 years!  Additionally, Dr. Amanda had a faster recovery time when she was sick about two-thirds of the way through her training.  “I genuinely doubt I would have recovered as quickly from the cold/sinus congestion I developed in the middle of February.  I was amazed at how quickly I could return to running a longer distance.  In the past, I would struggle if I had to take a week off from training.  Trying to return to the road was tough.  Not this time!  It was great!”  If you want to learn more about ASEA, check out this month’s class on Tuesday, March 10th at 5:30pm.  Click here to sign up!  For even more information, check out our ASEA site.