Therapy for Auto Accidents

Advance Health Blog

Therapy for Auto Accidents

Chris Goetz - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy are Highly Effective After an Auto Accident

Goetz with CaptionAn automobile accident, even a small one, has the potential to cause serious physical pain and emotional trauma to those involved. Chiropractic can help restore the body to the condition it was in before an accident, while massage and other physical therapies will help to relieve the pain, both physical and psychological. Some common auto accident injuries that can be addressed with chiropractic and physical therapies include:

 

 

  • Whiplash
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal disc injuries
  • Pain in the neck and back
  • Pain in the extremities

Chiropractic Care After and Auto Accident

An auto accident can cause a misalignment in the spine, which can in turn affect the functioning of the nervous system and lead to negative consequences for the entire body. Even if these symptoms do not manifest immediately, it is important to have a thorough examination after any accident, regardless of how seemingly harmless it is. Chiropractors are specialists of the spine and can reestablish the proper alignment of the spine and restore its normal function. The manual manipulations performed by a chiropractor put the spine back into alignment, allowing the nervous system to perform as intended. Chiropractic adjustments can also provide immediate relief from the pain associated with whiplash and spinal disc injuries. Both of these conditions are caused by misalignments in the spine.

Physical Therapy Provides a Range of Benefits

The various physical therapies available generally serve one of three goals:

  • Reduce or eliminate pain
  • Increase flexibility and range of motion
  • Increase strength

At Advance Health Services we employ a number of physical therapy modalities to help our patients quickly recover from their accident injuries. Some of the most common and highly effective therapies we use are:

  • Ultrasound
  • Electric muscle stimulation (EMS)
  • Micro-current
  • Cervical and lumbar traction
  • Paraffin

Massage Combats Muscle Spasm and Inflammation

Many auto accident injuries, including whiplash, can involve inflammation of the muscles and muscle spasms in addition to pain and soreness. Massage is an excellent therapy for these symptoms, especially when used alongside chiropractic and other physical therapies. Along with relieving pain, massage can make joints more pliable, which aides in chiropractic spinal manipulations.

If you have been in an auto accident, you owe it to yourself to visit Advance Health Services, even if you don’t believe you were injured. Our chiropractors, and physical and massage therapists, are well equipped to help you recover and get your body back to its pre-accident condition. Call us today to schedule your first consultation.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.

Chiropractic and Personal Injury

Advance Health Blog

Chiropractic and Personal Injury

Chris Goetz - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Chiropractors are Your Best Bet After an Auto Accident

Goetz with CaptionInterestingly, the last 15 years has seen a rise in population and the number of vehicles on the road alongside a decline in the number of yearly fatal traffic accidents. Corresponding with this has been a decrease in the severity of injuries and the frequency of nationwide insurance claims for injuries from auto accidents. Today in the US chiropractors treat 33% of all auto accident injuries. This makes perfect sense since 65% of all automobile accidents involve some combination of musculo-skeletal injuries and strains and sprains of the spine. Chiropractors are uniquely qualified to treat these injuries as their training makes them specialists in soft tissue injuries damage.

A victim of an automobile accident injury has two priorities: to receive good medical treatment that will provide fast relief from pain and disability and to insure that the medical treatment is paid for. The use of chiropractic as your primary medical treatment after a car accident can help with both of these issues. A chiropractor can provide effective treatment of your injuries and support you with the presentation of your claim to your insurance company.

Effective Treatment of Injuries

Serious injuries require intensive treatment, so during the beginning phases of your treatment you will likely be scheduled to visit your chiropractor as many as three times a week. Spinal adjustments and physical rehabilitation provide cumulative effects so it is important to keep these appointments in order to feel better faster. As treatment proceeds, visits become less frequent but may continue for many weeks or even months.

The combination of manual chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy such as massage, hot and cold therapy, electric muscle stimulation and others work to provide fast relief from accident related pain. Being a non-invasive discipline, chiropractic is also often combined with therapeutic exercise to strengthen muscles and speed up the healing process. Patients of chiropractic generally start to experience relief from their injuries after just one visit. All of this makes chiropractic an excellent alternative to the traditional approach which often involves surgery and pain medication, both of which come with their own downsides.

Support for Your Claim

Many attorneys know that chiropractors can not only help accidents victims heal quickly, but will also act as advocates to help patients get fair compensation from their insurance company for those medical bills. Many chiropractors base their business on personal injury and are well versed in the intricacies of insurance claims and accident litigation. A good chiropractor will have an open channel of communication with an accident victim’s attorney, providing timely reports and updates of the patient’s progress. A chiropractor’s final report includes information about pain experienced, the effectiveness of treatment provided and any lasting effects that the patient will experience as a result of the automobile accident. All of this information is invaluable to a lawyer putting together a claim to obtain fair compensation, and possibly damages, for their client.

Advance Health Services is an excellent choice for auto accident injury treatment. Aside from our various health services, we treat many auto accident victims, providing them with relief from their injuries and helping them with their insurance claims. If you have been in an accident call us right away to set up your first visit.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.

Understanding PIP

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Understanding PIP

Chris Goetz - Saturday, March 26, 2016

Understanding “No-Fault” and Personal Injury Protection

Goetz with CaptionLike eleven other US states, Florida is a no-fault insurance state. What that means is that a driver’s auto insurance will cover certain costs, primarily their bodily injuries and those of their passengers, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. In essence, the no-fault law makes each driver responsible for their own injuries and places an insurance requirement on all drivers. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage – sometimes called no-fault insurance – kicks in as soon as an accident occurs with no need to determine fault ahead of receiving medical care.

No-fault laws were enacted in twelve US states in an effort to curb the number of auto accident related lawsuits heard by the courts. The laws are controversial as some believe that they restrict a victims’ rights to file a lawsuit. In response, all twelve no-fault states have passed laws to address this issue.

How PIP Works

In Florida Personal Injury Protection policies pay 80% of medical bills up to $10,000, including those of your passengers’. In addition, PIP will pay up to 60% of wages lost due to injuries suffered in an accident. As one can imagine, this is not always enough to cover medical expenses, let alone lost wages. If there are additional medical bills after the PIP coverage runs out, it would be covered by additional insurance policies, if you have them. If the other driver is at fault, then there is the option to attempt to recover additional medical costs from the other driver and their insurance company. Believe it or not, depending on their coverage, this may require hiring an attorney and going to court.

The Benefits of PIP Coverage

The primary benefit of Personal Injury Protection coverage is that it activates immediately. Following a serious, or even just stressful, auto accident there is no need to worry about who is at fault or who will pay the medical bills. The payments for medical expenses and lost wages are generally made rapidly, and the injured only needs to deal with their own insurance company. It is important to realize that a single visit to a hospital emergency room could conceivably exhaust a PIP policy. Sometimes there is no choice, and by no means should one avoid going to the hospital immediately if they have suffered serious injuries. In other cases it may be beneficial to visit a medical doctor or chiropractor for care, many of which will see patients immediately.

Having Personal Injury Protection coverage will also help if the policy holder is injured in an automobile accident when they are not driving. A pedestrian or bicycle rider can make a claim against their PIP policy if they are struck by a car.

At Advance Health Services we provide care and rehabilitative services to auto accident victims every day. If you are involved in an accident of any kind, call us to find out how we can help you recover.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.

After an Auto Accident

Advance Health Blog

After an Auto Accident

Chris Goetz - Thursday, February 18, 2016

Do Not Wait to See a Doctor After an Auto Accident

Goetz with CaptionCommon wisdom states that you should visit a doctor no more than 72 hours after being involved in an accident. You could be suffering from an injury that you are not aware of, and that can be dangerous. But there is also the effect that waiting to seek medical care can have on a potential case. A serious delay or gaps in treatment can cause a reduction in any money you may be entitled to from your insurance company or the party at fault.

Medical doctors and chiropractors are trained to examine patients after an accident to determine the extent of any injuries suffered. With the proper diagnosis you can make an educated decision about how to proceed with your treatment and any claim you may want to make against the responsible party.

Fault and No-Fault States

States have different laws regarding who pays for personal injuries when an automobile accident has occurred. The majority of US states are “Fault States.” In this system the insurance companies pay claims according to whose negligence caused the accident, or who is at fault. Fault can sometimes be divided among more than one party. If you disagree with the insurer you may need to file a law suit to try to receive compensation.

No-Fault states, like Florida, employ a different system where each insurance company will pay for its own clients’ medical bills. In these states, auto insurance policies include personal injury protection or PIP. In most cases No-Fault states have adopted this system in response to a high number of court battles involving fault in auto accidents.

Statutes of Limitations

Your own safety is not the only concern that should hurry you to visit a doctor after an accident. Many states also have statutes of limitations which limit the time you can wait to file a lawsuit if you have been injured in an automobile accident. Once that time has expired, your legal options will be severely limited. In Florida the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident is two years.

After an Accident

Even if you do not have PIP or think you cannot afford to visit a doctor, call one anyway. Many chiropractors and medical doctors have long term, professional relationships with attorneys that may be able to help you. Here are some other suggestions of what to do immediately following an automobile accident and during treatment for injuries:

  • Insist on obtaining a police report even if the other involved parties do not want one.
  • Take photos of the accident scene if you are able.
  • Keep a journal of your injuries and treatment.
  • Keep copies of all communications regarding your accident from your doctor, lawyer and insurance company.
  • Keep detailed records of all of your expenses related to the accident and your medical treatment.
  • Don’t accept a settlement until you have completed all of your medical treatment.

If you are involved in an automobile accident, and whether you believe you are at fault or not, contact Advance Health Services right away. Our doctors can perform a complete medical examination that will reveal any injuries you may have experienced. After that we can get you started on a treatment plan and get you in touch with an attorney if you need one.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.

Hidden Auto Accident Injuries

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Hidden Auto Accident Injuries

Chris Goetz - Thursday, January 21, 2016

These Auto Accident Injuries Do Not Always Reveal Themselves Immediately

Goetz with CaptionAuto accident injuries are not always immediately apparent. Part of the reason is the hormones and endorphins that the body produces during a stressful event like a car accident. These natural chemicals can make one unaware of the pain from their injuries and make them feel as if nothing is wrong. To further complicate matters, some injuries may not even show up on X-rays or MRI’s. For these reasons it is important to be aware of how your body feels for days and even weeks after an accident, paying attention for any pain and discomfort that reveals itself later.

Here are some of the most common types of injuries you could suffer in an auto accident that sometimes do not reveal themselves immediately:

  • Whiplash
  • Concussion
  • Spinal Injury
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Whiplash

Whiplash is a neck injury that is caused by a forceful and rapid back and forth movement of the neck. The name comes from the movement’s similarity to the cracking of a whip. It is most often seen occurring during auto accidents that involve a rear end collision. Whiplash is sometimes referred to as a neck strain or sprain, but there are other types of neck injuries that fall under those descriptions.

A victim of whiplash may experience neck pain, stiffness, numbness, and spasms as well as headaches and dizziness. Left untreated whiplash could develop into chronic neck pain. The reason this type of injury is not immediately recognized is because some of the symptoms may not appear for a few days and those symptoms can be mistaken as being caused by another type of injury.

Concussion

A concussion is categorized as a mild traumatic brain injury. It can be caused by a blow to the head as well as a violent shaking of the head or upper body. Most concussions are temporary and can be treated with rest. Concussions are often hidden injuries because most of the symptoms can be caused by other injuries. On some occasions concussions can cause loss of consciousness. Here are some of the symptoms that may point to a concussion:

  • Headaches
  • Memory Loss
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of balance and coordination

Spinal Injury

One would think that a spinal injury is not likely to go unnoticed. In most cases that is true. However, facet syndrome is a type of spinal injury that could easily be mistaken for something else. Facet syndrome is the irritation of the joints on the back of the vertebrae. These joints are responsible for many of the twisting movements of the body. They can be impacted in an auto accident. Often the pain from facet syndrome is a dull ache which can easily be attributed to soreness from being in an auto accident. More serious symptoms could appear later and include chronic pain and loss of mobility.

In other cases spinal injury symptoms are simply confused for different injuries. Pain or numbness in the extremities, for example, is not uncommon.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a mental health condition that can be triggered by a stressful or frightening experience. It is not caused by an actual physical injury to the brain and is therefore not apparent immediately following an accident. Instead, the symptoms will develop over time and sometimes continue to worsen for weeks or months. Some common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares

PTSD is treated with counseling or psychiatric care.

The reality is that you should see a doctor after being involved in any kind of auto accident, no matter how seemingly small. At Advance Health Services we work to heal accident victims every day. Our doctors and physical therapists employ a range of tests that could reveal hidden injuries before symptoms appear, allowing us to begin treatment right away. If you are involved in an accident call us to make an appointment.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.

Herniated Discs

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Herniated Discs

Chris Goetz - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Herniated Discs Can Affect the Back, Neck and Extremities

Goetz with CaptionOf all the injuries one can sustain in an automobile accident, a herniated disc in the spine is one of the most potentially serious. Left untreated a herniated disc can cause a lifetime of pain and disability. It is important to recognize the signs of a possible herniation after an accident, and to consult with a doctor if any of the symptoms occur. Luckily, there are effective treatments to treat a herniated spinal disc including non-surgical methods that can produce excellent results.

The vertebrae, or bones that make up the spine, are separated by the spinal discs, called intervertebral discs. These discs act as cushions between each of the several vertebrae allowing the spine to bend and move. A herniated or slipped disc happens when all or part of the disc protrudes from its place between the vertebrae. Very often the protruding disc comes in contact with one or more of the many nerves that branch out from the spine. This contact causes pain and other problems in the back and other parts of the body, depending on which disc and nerves are affected. The lower back, also called the lumbar area, is the most common site of herniated discs, but they can also occur in the neck, or cervical portion of the spine. Slipped discs in the thoracic, or middle part of the back, are rare.

Any of these symptoms following an auto accident may indicate the presence of a herniated lumbar disc:

  • Low back pain
  • Pain radiating to the hips, legs or buttocks
  • Pain in the calfs or feet
  • Numbness in any of these areas

A herniated cervical disc presents itself a little differently.

  • Pain in the shoulder blades
  • Pain radiating to the arms, hands or fingers
  • Pain when moving the neck
  • Numbness in the shoulders, arms, hands or fingers

Additionally, a herniated disc can cause weakness in the arms and legs. Patients who have suffered a slipped disc after an auto accident may have trouble performing common daily tasks. Pain from a herniated disc can worsen by sitting, standing or walking for prolonged periods of time, by coughing, sneezing or laughing. The pain is often worse at night.

Spinal Decompression Provides Effective Non-Invasive Treatment

There are many options for car accident treatment in Miami and for herniated discs including pain medication, physical therapy and surgery. A relatively new form of treatment that has provided excellent results is spinal decompression therapy. This treatment seeks to relieve pressure between vertebrae in order to allow the disc to recede to its normal position.

The DRX9000 Spinal Decompression Unit uses spinal decompression to painlessly and effectively repair herniated intervertebral discs. Through a slow and methodical separating of specific vertebrae, the DRX9000 Spinal Decompression Unit reduces the pressure being applied to the injured disc while simultaneously encouraging blood flow to the area. This release of pressure allows the disc to regain its proper shape and position over time, while the increased flow of oxygen rich blood helps the disc heal more rapidly.

The DRX9000 Spinal Decompression Unit applies computer controlled, gentle pulls to specific vertebrae to provide relief to the affected discs. The thirty to forty minute process is repeated two or three times a week, gradually relieving pain over time. However, some patients begin to experience pain relief after only one or two treatments. Contact us at Advance Health Services today to find out if you are a candidate for spinal decompression in Miami.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.

Whiplash

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Whiplash

Chris Goetz - Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Whiplash Injuries Respond Favorably to Physical Therapy

Goetz with CaptionThe term whiplash has often caused confusion because it is used interchangeably to describe the process which causes an injury and the pain caused by that injury. Whiplash is a traumatic event that causes the head to move suddenly, or extend, in one direction, usually past its normal range, and then back in the other direction, or flex, just as suddenly. This abrupt extension and flexion of the head beyond its usual range of motion can cause serious injury to the muscles, joints and the discs of the spine.

Whiplash happens most commonly when one automobile is struck from behind by another, but can also occur anytime an automobile comes to a violent stop by hitting something head-on. Suddenness is often a factor, finding victims unprepared for an impact and with their muscles relaxed, causing more intense force to be applied to the muscles, discs and joints. This relaxed state is the reason why whiplash can occur in a seemingly small accident. 

A whiplash injury manifests thru pain in the shoulders, neck or base of the skull. In most cases the ligaments in those areas have been strained and are inflamed and tender. The list of possible associated symptoms is long and their appearance is common:

  • Headaches
  • Shoulders, arms or back
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of concentration or memory
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability or depression 

In the majority of cases, and with proper treatment, whiplash patients can expect a full recovery within four to six months of the date of the injury. Unfortunately, for about 20% of patients this is not the case. Chronic whiplash pain is often seen in older patients and those who had a history of neck pain or headaches before the whiplash injury. In addition, patients who experienced a rotation of the head in their whiplash incident are more likely to encounter chronic pain.

For years the treatment of whiplash injuries has included the use of a neck collar along with bed rest and immobilization of the neck. However, studies have shown that the collar may, in fact, prolong symptoms or even encourage the condition to become chronic. It is believed that keeping the area immobilized prevents blood from flowing there and hinders the body's natural healing process.

A regimen of physical therapy, exercise, medication and chiropractic is the most effective treatment plan available. Physical therapy can help alleviate associated pain and will reduce swelling and tenderness in the muscles. Exercise involves strengthening exercises. Range of motion exercises should be performed often and begin as soon as the condition allows. Range of motion exercises will encourage mobility and have been shown to allow for a more rapid recovery. These exercises should be performed several times an hour. Medications prescribed for whiplash injury treatments include pain medications and anti-inflammatories. Chiropractic is most effective when there has been movement of the spinal discs.

As with any immobilizing injury, patients may develop psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression or anger about their condition. It is not uncommon for whiplash patients to receive psychological treatment in conjunction with their physical care. 

Although whiplash injuries can be quite serious and have a powerful impact on one's well being, it is important to remember that in most cases the patient will experience a full recovery. Diligence in keeping doctor and therapy appointments, as well as persistent exercise, will insure a rapid recovery.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.

Car Accident Injuries

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Car Accident Injuries

Chris Goetz - Friday, March 01, 2013

Beware: Car Accident Injuries May Not Be Immediately Apparent

Goetz with CaptionBeing involved in a car accident can be a frightening experience, and the aftermath can be disruptive to your life and health.  A number of issues could arise including vehicle repairs, loss of your primary mode of transportation, missed work, dealing with insurance companies and, of course, discomfort, pain or possibly a serious car accident injury. Even in the absence of an obvious injury, a victim of a motor vehicle accident could experience:

 

 

  • Upper and lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Whiplash
  • Shoulder pain
  • Numbness
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Brain injury
  • Chronic pain
  • Leg, knee and foot injuries
  • Headaches
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue

It's also possible to feel nothing at all. In some cases your own body may block the sensation of pain immediately following a stressful event. Another common pitfall is the fact that pain medications prescribed after an accident may mask underlying problems.

For these and other reasons it is important after any accident, no matter how minor it might seem, to be examined by and doctor that specializes in the treatment of injuries sustained from auto accidents. Once it has been determined that injuries are not life threatening, the next step should be a visit to a pain management clinic, a chiropractor or a physiatrist.

Without the right evaluation and treatment, the conditions listed above could surface weeks or months down the road.  Spinal injuries that go untreated will not heal correctly and could lead to future chronic pain and discomfort.

A doctor that specializes in pain management and physiotherapy is more familiar with the types of injuries that result from motor vehicle accidents, in particular those that the patient may not yet be aware of.  Through x-rays and other orthopedic and neurological tests, a pain specialist can determine if structural or soft tissue damage has occurred and if muscle strength, range of motion or nerve function have been compromised.

Even after a hospital visit, is it important to visit a doctor who will treat your injuries and guide you through rehabilitation. It is important to understand that a hospital will insure that injuries are not life threatening and possibly prescribe medication to manage pain. But medication is not treatment for underlying muscular-skeletal issues. Only through rehabilitative therapies such as chiropractic, massage, physiotherapy, electric stimulation, ultrasound, traction and other techniques  can structural and soft tissue damage be corrected. In some cases surgery may be an option.

Make sure to consider all of these issues after any accident. Most importantly, seek the advice of a health professional to insure your continued health and wellbeing.

Dr. Chris Goetz was an offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets from 1990-1992. Having seen the benefits of therapy as he recuperated from his NFL injuries, he decided to enroll in Chiropractic Medicine school and dedicate himself to bringing relief and wellness to others. He has been Owner/Director of Advance Health Services of Miami since 1999.